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Macron’s Popularity Continues To Fall After Rough Summer

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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French President Emmanuel Macron’s approval rating continued to fall in August, according to a YouGov poll released Monday.

Support for the newly-elected president fell six points to 30 percent in August. The latest drop comes less than a week after Macron announced an overhaul of the country’s labor laws with the goal of lowering unemployment. Labor unions have criticized the move, and Macron anticipated that he would take a lot of heat from voters.

“When you reach power, you do not do things in 100 days,” Macron said Thursday in an interview with Le Point. “Or we would be the only country with a two-year presidential campaign and three months to govern.”

Macron got off to a strong start by clinching a majority in parliament for his new party, La République En Marche (Republic on the move). He has since been widely criticized by opponents over a series of policy moves, primarily his plans to make budget cuts in a number of sectors.

Pierre de Villiers, the head of France’s armed forces, resigned in July after a public dispute with Macron over an 850 million euro ($969 million USD) cut in the defense budget. De Villiers reportedly said he wouldn’t let himself be “f***ed like that” prior to his resignation.

Macron further angered a lot of his supporters by suggesting that Africa has a “civilizational” problem caused by women having “seven or eight” children.

The self-described centrist is backing a bill that would expand security powers for French authorities. Macron has promised to end France’s two-year state of emergency by the end of the year, but critics argue the replacement bill would essentially make all the state of emergency measures law of the land. (RELATED: French Senate Approves Bill To Effectively Put The Country In A Permanent State Of Emergency)

Despite his recent struggles, Macron’s popularity is far better than what his predecessor, François Hollande, enjoyed during his last months in office. Hollande’s approval rating dipped as low as 4 percent in November 2016.

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