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Deep state versus nation state: The case of the KEERFA "anti-racist" movement

Petros Konstantinou is an Athens city councilman who heads a major “anti-racist” organization, while little is publicly known about his background.

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In Greece every year, the UN sponsors an “anti-racist” rally which is run by KEERFA (“Movement United Against Racism and the Fascist Threat”). Who are they and what do they stand for? They are an “anti-racist” unit that appears everywhere anytime an “issue” develops with illegal migrants.
What does one mean by the word “illegal”? No migrants in Greece were ever legal or did they ever arrive with an agreement prior to appearing in Greece (apart from a few under the military junta of the late 1960’s-70’s from Pakistan). Once the Soviet Union fell, tens of thousands of Albanians arrived. Decades later, the government started to “legalize” their status. The Greek population was never told that Albania had de-facto joined the Schengen zone, nor were they ever told when joining the EEC (precursor to the EU) that a regime of open borders would exist with neighboring countries such as Bulgaria or Italy. Hence, anyone and more often than not everyone who fancied coming to Greece arrived, from Bangladeshis to Pakistanis, and in the last two years according to Frontex (the EU’s “border force”) from over 70 countries. A neoliberal free-for-all.

The omnipresent Petros Konstantinou


KEERFA was set up as a front by a far-left group called SEK, whose leader Panos Garganas is the twin brother of the ex-central banker of Greece (under the PASOK-Costas Simitis government that introduced the Euro) and is currently led by a certain Petros Konstantinou. This individual has been involved in almost everything and pops up everywhere like a jack in the box. Konstantinou rallied the migrants when the Greek police allegedly burnt a Koran, he was outside Marfin Bank when it was burnt to smithereens by alleged “anarchists,” he was present when migrant strawberry fruit pickers were allegedly shot at, he attended rally after rally to open the borders in the Evros region adjacent to Turkey, and also made his appearance at all of the migrant squats that developed in Athens after German chancellor Angela Merkel invited half the planet to the EU. A characteristic example is that of the former Olympic Airways terminal at the decommissioned Ellinikon Airport in Athens. Konstantinou has also been instrumental in organizing anti-Trump rallies in Athens.

Petros Konstantinou (in white) near a young Alexis Tsipras (circled) at the G8 protests in Genova in 2001.


Indeed, Konstantinou has apparently been making the rounds going back quite a few years. In 2001, at the infamous G8 “anti-globalization” summit in Genova, which has long been a cause célèbre for the globalist “anti-fascist” left, Konstantinou is seen pictured with a young Alexis Tsipras, at a time when Tsipras was an unknown for the majority of Greeks. In 2005, Konstantinou appeared in court as one of the witnesses in defense of the alleged co-founder of the infamous November 17 terrorist group Giannis Serifis, at his trial.
Will the real Petros Konstantinou please stand up?
Who is he really? Despite being an elected councilor in the municipality of Athens, it is almost impossible to find an actual biography, resume, or CV of this individual. He originally hails from Cyprus, and his English is superb. He has appeared at British Labour Party sponsored rallies in the UK and with their affiliated trade unions, speaking about “racism” in Greece and fighting… Golden Dawn. Recently this famous “anti-racist” was published in the Avgi newspaper — a SYRIZA party organ — supporting the nationalism of Skopje (FYROM) whilst condemning the… “nationalism” of Greece.
Despite the murders of countless of Greeks at the hands of migrants, Konstantinou has never once organised a rally in defense of the Greeks murdered (as there have never been violent deaths of Greeks according to Konstantinou after torture for petty thefts!). Meanwhile, one of the two most infamous cases of murder by migrants against Greeks, the case of Manolis Kantaris — who was murdered inplain sight for his camera, leaving behind a wife that was about to give birth — never once reached the radar of KEERFA. After all, anti-racism works only in one direction. It can only be Greeks who are racist, no one else.

Petros Konstantinou at an ANTARSYA event


Konstantinou’s economic motives and the sponsors behind him are globalist big business who want wages adjusted downwards between the EU and Asia. If they can’t export all business to low cost zones, they import tens of thousands of workers to higher income regions. KEERFA is there to defend illegal migration, illegal business operations and a zero tax economy with slave labor wages. It’s that blunt.
For more than a decade, right in the middle of Greece’s main shopping thoroughfare in central Athens, Ermou Street, there were African migrants selling their wares (Chinese counterfeits of famous named brands). While Greeks who have been caught selling goods on the street without a licence are immediately arrested and fined up to €5,000 for tax evasion, no such laws apply to migrants. When shopkeepers began protesting and chasing migrants who were camped outside their shops they were immediately branded as “racist.” Paying workers wages and social insurance is obviously racist when maintaining a shop with legal employees and maintaining a license to operate.
KEERFA’s neoliberal free-for-all is from a dystopian future whereby anyone does whatever they want, irrespective of any given laws which have emerged over the course of history. They appear to be “progressive” whilst promoting absolute degenerate decline. If, for instance, dozens of migrants set up camp in a square (as they did in the infamous Agios Panteleomonas neighborhood in Athens) drinking booze and selling drugs all day and harassing local women, those who are seen to be complaining about such behavior (as for instance local Greek residents did) makes those people unwilling to accept migrants and their …shortcomings.
Globalism has its moral equivalence: everything is to be accepted, from female genital mutilation to the rapes of women, religious obscurantism, overt male chauvinism and sexism, and public displays of gross anti-gay prejudice all in the name of accepting any race of migrants from wherever they happen to arrive from. Nowadays, being part of an indigenous nation with its own issues and shortcomings is passé. Being a citizen of the world, footloose, with no concern as to how one affects others is the new fashion. “Tolerance” and “acceptance” are the new catchphrases. So in practice, to paraphrase George Orwell in Animal Farm, “[a]ll beliefs are equal, but some beliefs are more equal than others.” The result is extreme intolerance towards all nation state-based cultures.
One could argue that this range of global diversity in a city encourages people to stay put. They don’t need to go to Colombia to obtain cheap cocaine or fly to Indonesia to rape underage children. These services can be available right around the corner, and if you are still in a protected occupation like a successful author or a lawyer, you can always find a cheap builder who pays no taxes or social insurance contributions to service your housing needs, when not looking for small boys to service your… sexual needs. KEERFA caters for all tastes by branding individuals and entire groups of citizens as… “racists.” By sheer “coincidence,” these “racists” are always Greek. What else could they be?
In fact, certain studies that have been carried out show that too much ‘diversity’ leads to massive increases in mental health issues and what has been termed as “white flight.” Who would want their children attend schools where the overwhelming majority do not speak the main language of the country they are residing in, or where customs are so different whereby one cannot eat certain foods or drink alcohol without being branded an… “infidel”?
Konstantinou is apparently isolated, and politically is located on the “far left” in a group known as ANTARSYA, which receives around 1 percent in national parliamentary elections but is always in the media and always holds highly visible press conferences. Konstantinou himself always is protected wherever he goes.
Oddly enough, ANTARSYA proclaims itself as a leaderless party, governed collectively by committee instead of by one individual. In turn, Konstantinou, a public official via his position as city councilman in Athens, is a man without a past, with no public biography available. However, the CIA’s World Factbook in fact lists Konstantinou as the leader of the “leaderless” ANTARSYA. Slip of the tongue?

Did the CIA World Factbook reveal Petros Konstantinou as the leader of the “leaderless” ANTARSYA party?


In a new public rally by KEERFA (Socialist Workers Party, SWP) appeared alongside DEA (Sunday School for Migrants) and the occupation of City Plaza on March 17 against “Fortress Europe,” as their statement declares. This is the slogan raised three years ago by the SWP as a cornerstone of the anti-imperialist demand of the whole of the anti-imperialist movement (in relation, of course, to the pro-NATO “left”).
To be precise, once again there is an attempt of the Greek deep state and the migrant exploiters to place pressure to “open the borders” with Turkey in the Evros region. This is a demand of the arch-“philanthropist” and funder of the NATOist and deep state “left” George Soros.
Soros, via the pseudo-humanitarianism of “open borders,” aims for concrete things:

a) Getting employment for migrants
b) Abolishing labor standards and workers’ rights
c) Weakening the states where the migrants are trapped
d) Using the migrants as a “trojan horse” in fronts the deep state seeks to break
e) The rise of xenophobia and the far right, to serve as a “bogeyman.”
f) Organizing anti-Trump rallies in support of Hillary Clinton, as KEERFA has usefully done.

They have on their side all the organizations that are directed by Soros and function for the furtherance of his agenda, such as the deep state KEERFA, that uses the aid it provides to the migrants to exploit them later on. For instance, migrants have been used by KEERFA as an object for the promotion of the pre-electoral campaign of Petros Konstantinou. Another example is the migrants KEERFA has transported to Evros to demand the abolition of the border with Turkey, as without them, KEERFA would have no one to show up at these protests.
Now how can work be found when real unemployment in Greece is between 30 and 40 percent, and even those that allegedly are “employed” can’t find work for more than a few hours a day? How can they claim there is a border between Greece and Turkey now it has been revealed that Greek soldiers were allegedly caught wandering across the woods and ended up in Turkish territory? The media then was obliged to reveal that there is no actual physical border between Greece and Turkey, but that did not stop the globalists from marching with the slogan “down with the fence in Evros.”
Murder and rape of Greek nationals
No Greek government ever stated they would open the borders en masse to all and sundry. A study of neoliberal globalisation and the labour movement is encapsulated in an article here, and more extensively in a book on the purpose behind mass migration. Indeed, a Parliamentary Committee of all the main parties in 1992 did not agree to uncontrolled migration or migration specifically from Muslim countries, as that would endanger the Greeks’ way of life, but as with everything, political parties in Greece always go back on their word.

Placard reading “we are all Pakistanis” at a KEERFA rally


What becomes interesting is that KEERFA realizes that the opposition of the average Greek is massive against uncontrolled migration, and no opinion poll has ever shown otherwise. Realizing they are losing the globalist war of or propaganda in defense of all migrants under any and all conditions, KEERFA focused on the death of a Pakistani migrant and assigned “racist” credentials to it. So in other words, someone can arrive illegally in the country then start blaming the locals for… racism, irrespective of what they have done, or his other compatriots and how they have behaved.
Of course, none of the migrants ever hang out in any wealthy suburbs, so those blamed as being racist are always working class and that is the stick used to beat them into silence. The only alternative would be the dispatch of riot police and imprisonment, as in the famous cases of Ag. Panteleomonas, where a whole community was penalized for not wanting their public square to be turned into a latrine and their women accosted every time they went out. Konstantinou then held rallies with Pakistanis and started chanting in central Athens “we are all Pakistanis”! Konstantinou, of course, can allege to be whatever he wants.
Video of Petros Konstantinou chanting “we are all Pakistanis”:

When a young 15-year old Greek girl from the island of Paros by the name of Myrto was raped and bashed in the head by a Pakistani migrant and left to die, but ended up living in a vegetative state, the response from the “anti-fascist” globalists was that Greeks do much worse things.

15 year old Myrto, raped and brutally attacked by a Pakistani migrant in the island of Paros, now living in a vegetative state


That, of course, is why not these “antifa” and “anti-racist” groups have never once held a demo against the rape or torture of underage girls or pensioners. After all, Greeks are infamous for killing the elderly members of their society, its part of their tradition but they just don’t know it! And right on cue, we have Petros Konstantinou re-educating us, as he did over the Macedonian issue where the nationalism of FYROM is deemed “progressive”…
SEK – The Socialist Workers Party
SEK is a group which establishes various political fronts to promote pure globalism. The irony of the situation is that Konstantinou emerged from there to run their “anti-racist” front. Who runs SEK? None other than Panos Garganas, the twin brother of former central banker during the Simitis regime that introduced the euro to Greece. Not only are we talking Greek deep state here, but specifically its globalist wing which is allied with the shipowners who have no actual nation state-based address and act as footloose corporations in the world they have created: that of the offshore tax-free system that favors their operations. These are KEERFA’s political backers, for to believe that two sons of an ex-ERE (quisling right) member of parliament, the Garganas brothers are actually singing from a different hymn is like believing that KEERFA is interested in… stopping racism.
It was SEK that launched demonstrations in Greece against Trump when he was elected, but did not organize similar demonstrations against Obama who of course didn’t start… any wars. Their problems will magnify now that globalist corporations like Apple and Nike have begun criticizing the U.S. government for implementing protectionist laws against foreign imports, signifying the reversal of the process of globalization. They will be seen to be siding openly with the globalist wing of the ruling class. But they are on the retreat, as no one actually takes them seriously. Konstantinou’s eclipse is pre-determined, as it is part of the conflict between globalism and nation-states. If nations are to survive and thrive, globalism and all of its variants have to buried deep underground, as after all they originate from the shady deep state of politics.
The UN-sponsored anti-racism day

Poster advertising the March 17, 2018 KEEERFA “anti-racist day” rally, on an Athens street.


Every year in March, KEERFA organizes a demonstration alongside the UN’s anti-racism day. Taking into account that no one has never seen Konstantinou gainfully employed anywhere and no record exists of what he actually knows but that he is seen everywhere, one would assume he is on the payroll of various NGOs and is sponsored by some UN fund or other.
There are never any more than a thousand participants at any of the rallies for migrants, and they are specifically chosen to be held at around 3 pm on a Saturday to avoid contact with Greeks, as most would have left the center. In turn, the police, in order to ensure they can create maximum discomfort, block off all roads from Omonoia Square to Syntagma Square and alongside the Parliament all the way to the Megaro Maximou mansion (the prime minister’s official residence). This is done in order for the “demonstrators” to pretend they are railing against the government when, in fact, they are directly in favor of the government and the policy of open borders.
One also notices that Konstantinou readily has access to the global media. For instance, one reading such reports in the Chinese press might come away believing that the open border for the import and sale of Chinese goods in Greece has no repercussions on domestic production and unemployment. A similar argument was made when successive governments pushed hard to bring in Chinese companies and workers at Greece’s ports, operating on Chinese wages. The ideal world of Konstantinou and his “anti-racism” is all about a new global slave labour empire, whilst anyone who criticizes it is branded with the label of being a… racist.

KEERFA-sponsored “anti-racist day” rally at Omonoia Square in Athens, March 17, 2018


After this year’s anti-racist day march on March 17, which was supported by the SYRIZA breakaway party Popular Unity (LAE), KEERFA produced a statement on its website. It is noteworthy that they never publish an aerial view of their demos, as their size is minimal and the time chosen is when there are no Greeks in the vicinity. The statement claimed that they were again attacked by violent thugs from Golden Dawn. The fact is that KEERFA circulates leaflets bearing the name “Republic of Macedonia” just after the giant Macedonian rallies, while they allege Greece is being aggressive in the Aegean despite the kidnapping of the two Greek soldiers in full army uniform by Turkey, with accusations that they were spying (how could one be spying in military uniform!).
KEERFA demonstrators have been rounded upon by citizens in areas they considered their turf, such as Kallithea and Galatsi in Athens. KEERFA allege that the police didn’t intervene, as obviously they are all Golden Dawn supporters. The case may be that the “attackers” were instead average citizens who were provoked by the globalist garbage that spews out of the mouth of KEERFA.
Either way, this is perhaps a sign of things to come. Globalism is on the retreat in more ways than one.
Opinions expressed are those of the author alone and may not reflect the opinions and viewpoints of Hellenic Insider, its publisher, its editors, or its staff, writers, and contributors.

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French opposition rejects Macron’s concessions to Yellow Vests, some demand ‘citizen revolution’

Mélenchon: “I believe that Act 5 of the citizen revolution in our country will be a moment of great mobilization.”

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Via RT…


Macron’s concessions to the Yellow Vests has failed to appease protesters and opposition politicians, such as Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who called for “citizen’s revolution” to continue until a fair distribution of wealth is achieved.

Immediately after French President Macron declared a “social and economic state of emergency” in response to large-scale protests by members of the Yellow Vest movement, promising a range of concessions to address their grievances, left-wing opposition politician Mélenchon called on the grassroots campaign to continue their revolution next Saturday.

I believe that Act 5 of the citizen revolution in our country will be a moment of great mobilization.

Macron’s promise of a €100 minimum wage increase, tax-free overtime pay and end-of-year bonuses, Mélenchon argued, will not affect any “considerable part” of the French population. Yet the leader of La France Insoumise stressed that the “decision” to rise up rests with “those who are in action.”

“We expect a real redistribution of wealth,” Benoît Hamon, a former presidential candidate and the founder of the Mouvement Génération, told BFM TV, accusing Macron’s package of measures that benefit the rich.

The Socialist Party’s first secretary, Olivier Faure, also slammed Macron’s financial concessions to struggling workers, noting that his general “course has not changed.”

Although welcoming certain tax measures, Marine Le Pen, president of the National Rally (previously National Front), accused the president’s “model” of governance based on “wild globalization, financialization of the economy, unfair competition,” of failing to address the social and cultural consequences of the Yellow Vest movement.

Macron’s speech was a “great comedy,”according to Debout la France chairman, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, who accused the French President of “hypocrisy.”

Yet many found Melanchon’s calls to rise up against the government unreasonable, accusing the 67-year-old opposition politician of being an “opportunist” and “populist,” who is trying to hijack the social protest movement for his own gain.

Furthermore, some 54 percent of French believe the Yellow Vests achieved their goals and want rallies to stop, OpinionWay survey showed. While half of the survey respondents considered Macron’s anti-crisis measures unconvincing, another 49 percent found the president to be successful in addressing the demands of the protesters. Some 68 percent of those polled following Macron’s speech on Monday especially welcomed the increase in the minimum wage, while 78 percent favored tax cuts.

The Yellow Vest protests against pension cuts and fuel tax hikes last month were organized and kept strong via social media, without help from France’s powerful labor unions or official political parties. Some noted that such a mass mobilization of all levels of society managed to achieve unprecedented concessions from the government, which the unions failed to negotiate over the last three decades.

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Soros Mimics Hitler’s Bankers: Will Burden Europeans With Debt To ‘Save’ Them

George Soros is dissatisfied with the current EU refugee policy because it is still based on quotas.

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Via GEFIRA:


After the Second World War, many economists racked their brains to answer the question of how Hitler managed to finance his armament, boost the economy and reduce unemployment.

Today his trick is well known. The economic miracle of Führer’s time became possible thanks to the so-called Mefo promissory notes.

The notes were the idea of the then President of the Reichsbank, Hjalmar Schacht, and served not only to finance the armament of the Wehrmacht for the Second World War, but also to create state jobs, which would otherwise not have been possible through the normal use of the money and capital markets, i.e. the annual increase in savings in Germany.

The Reich thus financed the armaments industry by accepting notes issued by the dummy company Metallurgische Forschungsgesellschaft GmbH (hence the name Mefo) rather than paying them in cash. The creation of money was in full swing from 1934 to 1938 – the total amount of notes issued at that time was 12 billion marks. The Reichsbank declared to the German banks that it was prepared to rediscount the Mefo notes, thus enabling the banks to discount them.

Because of their five-year term, the redemption of notes had to begin in 1939 at the latest. This threatened with enormous inflation. Since Schacht saw this as a threat to the Reichsmark, he expressed his doubts about the Reich Minister of Finance. But it did not help, and Schacht was quickly replaced by Economics Minister Walther Funk, who declared that the Reich would not redeem the Mefo notes, but would give Reich bonds to the Reichsbank in exchange. At the time of Funk, the autonomous Reichsbank statute was abolished, the Reichsbank was nationalized, and inflation exploded in such a way that Mefo notes with a circulation of 60 billion Reichsmark burdened the budget in post-war Germany.

George Soros also proposes such a money flurry in the style of Schacht and Funk.

Soros is dissatisfied with the current EU refugee policy because it is still based on quotas. He calls on the EU heads of state and governments to effectively deal with the migrant crisis through money flooding, which he calls “surge funding”.

“This would help to keep the influx of refugees at a level that Europe can absorb.”

Can absorb? Soros would be satisfied with the reception of 300,000 to 500,000 migrants per year. However, he is aware that the costs of his ethnic exchange plan are not financially feasible. In addition to the already enormous costs caused by migrants already in Europe, such a large number of new arrivals would add billions each year.

Soros calculates it at 30 billion euros a year, but argues that it would be worth it because “there is a real threat that the refugee crisis could cause the collapse of Europe’s Schengen system of open internal borders among twenty-six European states,” which would cost the EU between 47 and 100 billion euros in GDP losses.

Soros thus sees the financing of migrants and also of non-European countries that primarily receive migrants (which he also advocates) as a win-win relationship. He calls for the introduction of a new tax for the refugee crisis in the member states, including a financial transaction tax, an increase in VAT and the establishment of refugee funds. Soros knows, however, that such measures would not be accepted in the EU countries, so he proposes a different solution, which does not require a vote in the sovereign countries.

The new EU debt should be made by the EU taking advantage of its largely unused AAA credit status and issuing long-term bonds, which would boost the European economy. The funds could come from the European Stability Mechanism and the EU balance of payments support institution.

 “Both also have very similar institutional structures, and they are both backed entirely by the EU budget—and therefore do not require national guarantees or national parliamentary approval.“

In this way, the ESM and the BoPA (Balance of Payments Assistance Facility) would become the new Mefo’s that could issue bills of exchange, perhaps even cheques for Turks, Soros NGOs. Soros calculates that both institutions have a credit capacity of 60 billion, which should only increase as Portugal, Ireland and Greece repay each year the loans they received during the euro crisis. According to Soros, the old debts should be used to finance the new ones in such a way that it officially does not burden the budget in any of the EU Member States. The financial institutions that are to carry out this debt fraud must extend (indeed – cancel) their status, as the leader of the refugees expressed such a wish in his speech.

That Soros is striving to replace the indigenous European population with new arrivals from Africa and Asia is clear to anyone who observes its activities in Europe. The question is: what does he want to do this for and who is the real ruler, behind him, the real leader?

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The French People Feel Screwed

For the first time in his presidency, Macron is in trouble and Europe and America are looking on.

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Authored by David Brown via The Gatestone Institute:


On December 4, French Prime Minister Édouard Phillipe told deputies of the ruling party, “La République en Marche”, that a proposed fuel tax rise, which had led to the largest protests France has seen in decades, would be suspended.

The protesters, called Gilets-Jaunes — “Yellow Vests,” because of the vests drivers are obliged by the government to carry in their vehicles in the event of a roadside breakdown — say that the fuel tax was the last straw from a president who took office with a promise to help the economically left-behind but instead has favoured the rich.

Even by French standards, the protests of the “Yellow Vests” during the weekend of December 1 were startling. Burning cars and vast plumes of grey smoke seemed to engulf the Arc De Triomphe as if Paris were at war. Comparisons were drawn with the Bread Wars of the 17th Century and the spirit of the Revolution of the 18th Century.

For more than two weeks, the “Yellow Vests” disrupted France. They paralyzed highways and forced roads to close — causing shortages across the country – and blocked fuel stations from Lille in the North to Marseilles in the South.

During protests in France’s capital, Paris, the “Yellow Vests” were soon joined by a more violent element, who began torching cars, smashing windows and looting stores. 133 were injured, 412 were arrested and more than 10,000 tear gas and stun grenades were fired.

One elderly lady was killed when she was struck by a stray grenade as she tried to shutter her windows against the melee.

There was talk of imposing a State of Emergency.

The “Yellow Vests” present the most significant opposition French President Emmanuel Macron has faced since coming to office in May 2017. Unlike previous protests in France, which have divided public opinion, these have widespread support – 72% according to a Harris Interactive Poll published December 1st.

Fuel tax rises — announced in November before being retracted on December — were intended to help bring down France’s carbon emissions by curbing the use of cars. Macron makes no secret of his wish to be seen as a global leader for environmental reform.

He forgets that back at home, among the people who elected him, fuel prices really matter to those outside big cities, where four-fifths of commuters drive to work and a third of them cover more than 30km each week.

The increases have incensed people in smaller communities, where they have already seen speed limits reduced to please the Greens and cuts to the local transport services.

These additional costs-of-living increases come at an extremely bad time for ordinary French people working outside of Paris. Lower-middle class families are not poor enough to receive welfare benefits but have seen their income flat-line whilst cost-of-living and taxes have risen.

An analysis by the Institut des Politiques Publiques think-tank shows that benefits cuts and tax changes in 2018 and 2019 will leave pensioners and the bottom fifth of households worse off, while the abolition of the wealth tax means that by far the biggest gains will go to the top 1%

This is tough to swallow. Macron is seen as being out of touch with ordinary people and is unlikely to escape his new title, “the President of the Rich.”

“People have this feeling that the Paris technocrats are doing complicated things to screw them,” said Charles Wyplosz, an economics professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

It is probably not as complex as that. The French people feel screwed.

As employment and growth are slowing, Macron, for the first time in his presidency, is under serious pressure. Unemployment is at 9%; his efforts to reform Europe are stalling, and his approval rating has plummeted to just 23% according to a recent opinion poll by IFOP.

Images of Macron at the Arc De Triomphe daubed in graffiti calling for him to step down, or worse, have done little to bolster his image abroad.

So far, Macron had said he would not bow to street protests. To underline his point, in September 2017, he called protestors against French labour-market reform “slackers”.

The political U-Turn on the fuel tax is a turning point for the Macron presidency. The question is : What next, both for Macron and the “Yellow Vests”?

Macron most likely needs to plough ahead with his reform agenda, and doubtless knows he has the support of a solid majority in the National Assembly to do so. France is crippled by debt (nearly 100% of GDP) and its grossly bloated public sector. There are 5.2 million civil servants in France, and their number has increased by 36% since 1983. These represent 22% of the workforce compared to an OCDE average of 15%.

Tax-expert Jean-Philippe Delsol says France has 1.5 million too many “fonctionnaires [officials]. When you consider that public spending in France now accounts for 57 per cent of gross domestic product. Soon the system will no longer function as there will be less and less people working to support more and more people working less”.

Macron’s mistake, in addition to a seeming inclination for arrogance, is not to have made national economic reform his absolute priority right from his initial grace period after his election. Lower public expenses would have made it possible to lower taxes, hence creating what economists call a virtuous circle. Instead, he waited.

Now, at a time when he is deeply unpopular and social unrest is in full sway he is looking to make further reforms in unemployment benefits, scaling them back by reducing the payments and the length of time beneficiaries can receive the money. The “President of the Rich” strikes again.

There is talk that he may also re-introduce the wealth tax to try to placate the protestors.

Macron’s presidential term lasts until May 13, 2022. Understandably, Macron will be focused on the elections to the European Parliament expected to be held May 23-26, 2019. Headlines have signalled that Marine Le Pen and the National Rally (formally National Front) are ahead in the polls at 20%, compared to Macron’s En Marche at 19%.

The shift is understandable, given the divide between the countryside, where Le Pen has solid support, and the cities, where Macron’s centre-left prevail.

In contrast, the “Yellow Vests” have galvanised support after standing up for the “impotent ordinary”, and seem much buoyed by the solidarity they have been shown by both fire fighters and the police. There are images online of police removing their helmets and firefighters turning their backs on political authority to show their support for the protestors.

Whilst Macron’s political opposition may be fragmented, this new breed of coherent public opposition is something new. Leaderless, unstructured and organised online, the “Yellow Vests” have gained support from the left and right, yet resisted subjugation by either.

Being leaderless makes them difficult to negotiate withor to reason with in private. The “Yellow Vests” seem acutely aware of this strength, given their firm rebuttal of overtures for peace talks from the Macron government.

Enjoying huge support from the public and with reforms to the social welfare system on the horizon, the “Yellow Vests” are not going away.

For the first time in his Presidency, Macron is in trouble and Europe and America are looking on.

After Macron rebuked nationalism during his speech at the armistice ceremony, Trump was quick to remind the French President of his low approval rating and unemployment rate near 10%. A stinging broadside from Trump on twitter suggests that Macron may well be relegated to Trump’s list of global “Losers“:

“Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!”

The “impotent ordinary” in the United Kingdom, who might feel betrayed over Brexit, and the nationalists in Germany, who have suffered under Merkel , are no doubt staring in wonder at the “Yellow Vests”, wishing for the same moxie.

The historian Thomas Carlyle, chronicler of the French Revolution, said the French were unrivaled practitioners in the “art of insurrection”, and characterised the French mob as the “liveliest phenomena of our world”.

Mobs in other countries, by comparison, he argued were “dull masses” lacking audacity and inventiveness. The blazing yellow vests of the French protest movement , however, have made Macron appear increasingly dull and weak too.

David Brown is based in the United Kingdom.

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