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The Big Take

For Macron and France, It’s the Economy, Stupide

Culture-war clashes make all the noise, but a strong recovery from the pandemic crash may be what sways French voters in April.

relates to For Macron and France, It’s the Economy, Stupide
Photographer: Joanna McClure for Bloomberg Businessweek

For five years, Emmanuel Macron has been fending off challenges from the fringes of mainstream French politics. It began in the 2017 election runoff against far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen, continued through a showdown with the yellow vests protest movement, and is culminating in a culture-war clash with ultra-right-wing polemicist Éric Zemmour, who entered the race for the presidency in November.

But as he seeks reelection in April, the president who was nurtured in the top echelons of the French technocracy has a potential knockout punch to throw: the robust economy.