The French Are Finding Common Ground With Macron

(Bloomberg) -- The French mostly agree with President Emmanuel Macron’s proposals stemming from a national debate, though they don’t agree that an elite civil-servant training school should be closed, according to a poll released on Friday.

The poll also suggested the French don’t mind a longer work week to pay for a lowering of taxes and better services.

According to an Odoxa poll for Figaro newspaper, 77 percent approve of Macron’s proposals to cut middle class income taxes, 74 percent approve of indexing small pensions, and 74 percent agree there should be no more schools and hospitals should be shut.

Just 37 percent approve of Macron’s idea of closing the Ecole Nationale d’Administration, an elite institute that trains top French civil servants. And only 23 percent approve of his decision not to re-impose a wealth tax.

Macron was due to announce his measures on April 15, but canceled a speech to the nation after a fire broke out on Notre-Dame Cathedral. Details of the speech leaked and were confirmed by people who had been briefed about it. Macron’s national debate involved two months of town hall meetings to allow the French to express grievances that had come to light during protests by the Yellow Vests movement.

On other issues not included in Macron’s proposals, 50 percent said they agreed with getting rid of the 35-hour work week. But only 29 percent think the retirement age should be pushed back.

The Odoxa poll quested 1,003 people on-line using a quota method on April 17 and 18. No margin of error was given.

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