The election last night of Emmanuel Macron to the French presidency ushers in a period of bold economic reform and sweeping social change in which – as is traditional in France – absolutely nothing will happen.
M. Macron’s campaign pledges include a 120,000 reduction in public-sector jobs, a cut in public spending by €60bn, and a lowering of the unemployment rate to below 7%. Obviously none of this will take place.
He also vowed to ease labour laws and give new protections to the self-employed. Even M. Macron himself had a hard time keeping a straight face when he came up with that one.
‘Mais non,’ said one respected onion seller / political pundit this morning, ‘naturellement ‘e ‘ad to promise to do things in order to be elected. But now ‘e ‘as eez feet under ze table we French will do what we always do in times of economic crisis: go on strike and demand longer ‘olidays.
‘M. Macron will respond by hiring 3 million new civil servants, offering mandatory paternity leave even to people who don’t ‘ave children and telling everyone to take September off. It doesn’t really matter who we elect; zis is just ‘ow things work en France, n’est-ce pas?’
Late Breaking News: M. Macron is reported to have begun his first day in office by setting fire to a lorry load of sheep on a picket line, making his lover Prime Minister and spending the afternoon eating cheese. The national unemployment rate has leaped to a record 103%. The banlieues are aflame. Nationwide shrugging is reported.