French President visited a market in the Paris suburb of Cergy on Wednesday (April 27), vowing to address poorer populations and unemployment during his first public appearance since he won re-election.
Macron won a new five-year term in a runoff vote on Sunday (April 24) in a presidential election largely fought over voters’ concerns about surging inflation eroding their purchasing power.
“I feel that I have a lot of responsibility,” Macron said during the walkabout. “Responsibility means having freedom and a lot of courage, but also being truthfully up for the demands and being willing to work with everyone.”
He said he plans to change policies that tend to place poor people into already poor neighbourhoods – an aspect he admitted he was unable to change in his first presidential mandate.
Macron said he also aims to reduce unemployment in less privileged neighbourhoods that often fall victim to discrimination and lower quality education.
In Wednesday’s visit, Macron obtained cheers from supporters rejoicing his re-election. But some remain sceptical of his new presidential mandate.
“I would like to tell President Macron that people are still suffering a lot. We, who are unemployed, we are suffering, and he should try to improve the lives of French people,” 34-year-old unemployed local Carolle Petipa said.
French consumer confidence fell more than expected in April although households’ concerns about inflation in the coming month months eased, a monthly survey showed on Wednesday.
The INSEE official statistics agency said its consumer confidence index fell to 88 points from 90 in March, hitting lows not seen since France was in coronavirus lockdown in 2020 and during massive anti-government street protests in late 2018.
“Basic necessities are very, very expensive,” Cergy resident Mohamed Djae-Rachid said. “It’s become very difficult for everyone.”