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This Year’s Cruelest Month?

French President Emmanuel Macron, US President Donald Trump, and British Prime Minister Theresa May have little to look forward to in the coming weeks. In terms of translating abstract promises into concrete policies, all of them are about to face their hardest tests yet.

TARN, FRANCE – To the great poet T.S. Eliot, “April is the cruellest month.” But in 2017, the world’s politicians could be forgiven for thinking that September is more deserving of the title.

Consider French President Emmanuel Macron, a relative unknown who was elected in May with the support of many who were voting against his second-round opponent, Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front. Now, Macron is facing strong opposition from both the far left and the far right over his plan to rejuvenate the French economy.

In addition to budget cuts and a public-sector pay freeze – neither of which would be popular under any circumstances – Macron is trying to reform France’s labor code. This was sure to kick up a political storm, and French trade unions have already responded by threatening a general strike for the second week in September.

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