Path 27

Seen as pro-business, France's Macron tacks left at UN body

Path 27

GENEVA (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday called for an EU-wide minimum wage and a stepped-up fight against inequality, in what represents a return to his left-leaning political roots after critics have painted him as overly pro-business.

In a speech to the U.N.’s main labor body, Macron alluded to the protests by the yellow vest anti-government movement in France that has shaken his balancing act as a promoter of business with roots in the Socialist Party — which he abandoned to set up his own centrist party.

“France has gone through very difficult crisis in the last few months, which I have personally experienced as a type of opportunity,” Macron said in remarks that appeared largely targeted to a domestic audience that has questioned his qualifications as a center-left leader.

The yellow vest movement, which has challenged Macron, has faded in recent weeks. The movement started in November, when close to 300,000 protested around France. Violence and rioting overshadowed the protests, damaging the movement and putting his government on the defensive.

At the centennial conference of the International Labor Organization, Macron said he supported efforts to reduce inequality between women and men in the workplace, strike a minimum wage across the European Union, and ensure that no more international trade deals contribute to “economic and labor dumping.”

GOP Rep Says He Hugged Cop Who Shot Ashli Babbitt and Said 'You Did What You Had to Do'

In a bid to show he was listening to his critics, Macron said it was the failures of leaders “that lead to the success of the extremes” and warned that a crisis has put the world’s democracies “on the brink of war if we don’t watch out.”

He insisted that his centrist government had at times come up with “the right responses,” but acknowledged that they had appeared too distant for many French people.

Macron was joined by heads of state and government including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Many addressed threats to traditional jobs posed by automation and artificial intelligence and called for more multilateralism to address global problems.

Medvedev warned that the global order was under threat and lamented the negative impact of “illegal sanctions, protectionism and trade wars.” It was a not-so-veiled reference to the United States, which is on the cusp of a trade war with China and has slapped crippling sanctions on Iran. The U.S. is represented in Geneva beneath ministerial level.

British Prime Minister Theresa May focused on the fight against modern slavery and highlighted some accomplishments under her tenure — which has been largely overshadowed by her inability to strike a Brexit deal with the European Union.


Harriet Morris in Moscow, Sylvie Corbet in Paris and Dorothee Thiesing in Geneva contributed to this report.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →


We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Path 27
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City