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    Young, Untested New French Leader Faces Massive Economic, Social Crises

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    According to a former European Union consultant, Macron will lead a weak, divided France facing economic crisis, unassimilated mass immigration and a growing terrorist threat.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Emmanuel Macron is going to lead a weak, divided France facing economic crisis, unassimilated mass immigration and a growing terrorist threat that his predecessors had failed to resolve, former European Union consultant Paolo von Schirach told Sputnik.

    "Macron’s victory is… no guarantee that a weakened France will regain the enthusiasm… to get out of the swamp of low growth and high unemployment,’" Schirach, president of the Global Policy Institute and Professor of International Economics at BAU International University, said.

    Macron must also tackle the unresolved issue of millions of mostly Muslim non-assimilated immigrants who have become in many instances the breeding mix for radicalized youth who engage in acts of terror, Schirach warned.

    "The unknown here is whether this new — and completely untested — young president (the youngest leader of France since Napoleon) will be able to galvanize his country," Schirach stated.

    Macron also needs to gather in France’s National Assembly elections next month the necessary parliamentary support to pass critical labor and tax reforms that are the minimal policy preconditions to enable French business and enterprise to flourish, Schirach noted.

    "In order to secure these reforms Macron needs a major win at the forthcoming parliamentary elections. He needs a workable majority in the National Assembly in order to govern. Can his brand new party repeat the leader’s May 7 surprising victory?" he asked.

    Macron enjoyed a meteoric rise from nothing to president of a major European country, Schirach pointed out.

    "This is by itself a stunning achievement. The very fact that obscure Macron saw an opening for himself as the leader of a brand new movement (En Marche!) in what appeared a crowded field populated by seasoned politicians speaks volumes about his political instincts," he said.

    Macron was also lucky in the weakness of the other leading candidates who were seeking to keep nationalist champion Marine Le Pen out of power, Schirach pointed out.

    "We know that Macron was very lucky. The center right candidate Francois Fillon imploded on account of the scandal related to fake staff jobs he offered to his wife and children. With Fillon sunk and a very weak Socialist Party candidate, Macron became the only credible alternative to Le Pen," he said.

    Macron managed to get to the second round, even though not by a huge margin but then won on May 7 by a large margin, Schirach observed.

    "Marine Le Pen did not pass the symbolically significant 40 percent threshold. She is defeated and humiliated, although still alive politically and willing to keep fighting," he said.

    A Le Pen presidency would have been very disruptive, given her very negative views on Europe, the Euro, trade relations and the NATO Alliance, Schirach added.


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