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Is the Shine Off Macron?

Within a year, Emmanuel Macron has gone from inexperienced political underdog to President of the French Republic, with an impressive parliamentary majority to boot. But, if he implements the macroeconomic policies that his administration is now planning, his winning streak may soon be over.

GENEVA – Emmanuel Macron is on a winning streak. Within a year, he has gone from inexperienced political underdog, with no establishment backing, to President of the French Republic and leader of a newly created political party with an impressive parliamentary majority. Can he keep it up?

Macron owes his recent success not just to good luck, but also to his ability to build on any break that came his way. For voters who were feeling mistrustful of the political establishment, he managed to provide an appealing option that did not require a move to the fringes, whether right or left. He came to be seen as a smart disruptor of the disruptive populists.

Macron’s economic program was particularly clever, as it responded impeccably to more than a decade of analyses of the ills afflicting the French economy. He committed to freeing up the famously ossified labor market and alleviating an excessive and entrepreneurship-stifling tax burden. He also pledged to shrink France’s unwieldy state, which now spends 57% of GDP per year, by reducing cumbersome regulations and rationalizing the outdated welfare system.