Who is this guy called Emmanuel Macron?


IN HIS OWN WORDS: “France is back!”

Obviously, he was not referring to rugby, although that might be on the agenda for later.

At 39 EMMANUEL MACRON is the youngest French president since Napoleon, and starts his tenure facing some major issues, chief amongst them are:

  • Unemployment,
  • Franco-German relations,
  • Social cohesion,
  • Brexit.
  • (and rugby of course)

He swept to the presidency out of nowhere on a promise of tolerance and hope.

He won a huge majority in Parliament and kept Le Pen’s far-right to 8 / 577 seats.

The young turned out in droves (despite a low turnout overall). They really do care about their future.


But who is he really?

To help us get know him better, a few light and memorable but important and revealing quotes, firstly, on his ambitions for France and the French:

“We need people who dream impossible things, who maybe fail, sometimes succeed, but in any case, who have that ambition.”

“I want France to become the European hub for R&D.”

“I want France to attract new entrepreneurs, new researchers, and be the nation for innovation and start-ups,”

“I am not shy. I am for an open society. I am for a progressive world. I do not propose to reform France; I propose to transform it at its deepest level.”

“I will do everything to make sure you never have reason again to vote for extremes.”

On Europe, he says:

“We have to return to the original promises of the European project: peace, prosperity and freedom. We should have a real, adult, democratic debate about the Europe we want.”

“We need Europe and it will be reformed and relaunched because it protects us and allows us to project our values in the world.”

“Together, we will be able to work on a common shared road map for the European Union and the Eurozone, … I hope very much in the weeks to come, we will be able to devise a common shared road map between France and Germany… We need more trust, much more trust and more specifically, results.”

On Emmanuel Macron himself, his life, and philosophy:

“Honesty compels me to say that I am not a socialist. But so what?”

“The best way to afford a suit is to work.”

“I am a newcomer. I want to remain a newcomer. That is my DNA.”

“I don’t have luxurious tastes or great needs, but my independence is worth a lot to me.”

“I’m not a movie star, and I don’t want to become a movie star.”

“When politics is no longer a mission but a profession, politicians become more self-serving than public servants.”

“Popularity isn’t my compass. Unless it can help one to act, to be understood… that’s what counts.”

“We do not have a classic family, it’s undeniable, but do we have less love in this family? I do not think so.”


“If I was British, I would vote resolutely ‘remain’ because it’s in the U.K.’s interest.”

“Boris Johnson enjoys giving flamboyant speeches but has no strategic vision; the turmoil he created the day after Brexit proves it.”

“Nigel Farage and Mr Johnson are responsible for this crime: they sailed the ship into battle and jumped overboard at the moment of crisis.”

Leading Brexiteers according to Macron “spoke bullshit” during the campaign last summer. (Channel 4 interview with Michael Crick.)

“I was very happy to see that some academics and researchers in the UK, because of Brexit, are considering coming to France to work. It will be part of my programme to be attractive for these kinds of people.”

“We should not replicate the situation where one country is in a situation to hijack the rest of Europe because they organize a referendum.”
 On French Politics:
“The left which does nothing, achieves nothing, the right, which did nothing and doesn’t propose anything, achieves nothing. So we are moving forward.”

“The world needs what French men and women have always taught it: the audacity of freedom, the demand for equality and the desire for fraternity.”

And on the French:

“If approval was a criterion in this country, nothing would ever get done.”

“Really, creation and innovation are part of the French DNA.”

“The French are consistent.”

Then of course, there was a famous handshake:


In Macron’s words … “a moment of truth”

… “my handshake with him, it wasn’t innocent”

…”one must show that you won’t make small concessions, even symbolic ones”

If you haven’t seen it, here it is again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YDryqXxkfE

“Make our planet great again.”


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