Will Macron’s Consideration for Referendum Solve the ‘Yellow Vest Protest’ Chaos?

Last updated on February 6th, 2019

The French President, Emmanuel Macron, is reportedly considering a referendum to address major problems raised by the yellow vest protests. The critics, to which have said that the embattled President might “have to go” if he loses the vote. The 41-year-old has been under continuous pressure since the protests began back in November last year and sees the vote as the best solution.

It is understood that the vote is being considered for May 26, the same day as the European Parliament elections. The Elections Office, has already contracted printers and paper suppliers in the event of the snap vote.
The major risks associated with the referendum, among other things, threatens to give voters the power to reduce the number of lawmakers. This will result in restricting the number of terms they can serve to prevent politicians from holding onto power. Both of which, are pledged by the President to soften the effects of protests.

Conservative MEP Philippe Juvin told France Info: “If Emmanuel Macron loses this referendum, he will have to face the consequences – he’ll have to go.” He added, that Macron is acting like a “poker player” by asking a question he knows people won’t be able to say no to. “He’s not going to hold a referendum, but a plebiscite.”

François-Xavier Bellamy, another conservative and the head of the Les Républicains party’s EU election list, said it won’t solve the chaos spelled by the yellow vest protests. He also warned that holding it on the same day as the parliamentary elections would also fail to serve any real purpose.

Eurosceptic nationalism is a pest -eating up the roots of democracy in the continent. A real debate addressing the continent-wide problems is what the need of the hour is.

The European elections will be held between May on 23-26, and are considered instrumental in finding out, which way the wind blows next in Europe. The fight is reportedly between the pro-European liberals like Macron, and Eurosceptic like Viktor Orbán, who want to take control of the continent in their hands.

Even recently, France and Germany announced signing a new contract to fight the Eurosceptic nationalism. If Macron loses the vote, it might also impact the nation’s fight to preserve the norms of democracy.

Contrarily, European Affairs Minister, Nathalie Loiseau, said that the argument was still “premature” and that it was “too early” to talk about it happening. The President “isn’t ruling anything out, but he hasn’t made a decision yet,” she said in a joint interview with RTL radio, daily Le Figaro and LCI television on Sunday.

Yellow vest protests have already impacted the diplomatic stature of the nation. Macron has responded by increasing the minimum wage by £87.60 (€100 euros) a month, and by canceling a planned tax increase for lower-income pensioners.

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