French Senate leader claims Macron ‘out of touch with reality’

Gerard Larcher believes the French president has not addressed several domestic issues properly

The president of the French Senate, Gerard Larcher, has openly criticized Emmanuel Macron’s leadership, claiming that the head of state appears to be out of touch with reality and the daily concerns of the people of France.
In an exclusive interview with La Tribune on Sunday, Larcher was asked to assess Macron’s track record, as the French President prepares to celebrate his seventh anniversary in the Elysee Palace.
“It’s disappointing. I don’t feel we perceive the same country, that we don’t feel same France,” the politician responded, listing several issues to “illustrate Emmanuel Macron’s denial of reality.”
Firstly, he noted a significant decline in school education quality, citing the latest PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) study which ranked French teenagers 26th in science and mathematics and 29th in reading comprehension.
“It’s not just a story of money and resources. There is a problem of transmission of values, respect for the authority of the teacher, preservation of secularism, particularly among the public,” Larcher argued.

He then addressed the issues in the healthcare sector, saying that it remains “a very big concern for the French” with the hospital system becoming increasingly “bureaucratized.”
“Although we are the country with the highest rate of public spending, our health system has deteriorated profoundly,” Larcher noted, adding that with hospitals staffed with 34% non-medical administrative personnel millions of French are forced to seek private medical care every year.
Larcher also brought up the lack of “state authority,” pointing to the escalation of street violence, urban unrest, drug trafficking, defiance of law enforcement, and the overall deterioration of the country’s crime landscape.
“All of this creates distrust. I’m not saying the government hasn’t tried. I’m not saying it’s simple. But this prohibits any exercise of self-satisfaction,” the head of the Senate concluded.