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Since his landslide victory in May, French President Emmanuel Macron has seen his popularity at home wane dramatically. His 100th day in office, Aug. 21, passed after a string of polls have shown he is more unpopular than his immediate predecessors at the same stage of their presidencies. Here’s why.


Macron, an avowed centrist, has energized foes on the left and right. His aggressive pursuit of $70 billion of cuts in federal spending by 2022 has angered socialists, while a proposed $1 billion cut to the military’s budget also alienated conservatives and led to the resignation of armed-forces head General Pierre de Villiers on July 19.


Macron raised eyebrows in July by comparing himself to the Roman god Jupiter and has been criticized for being egotistical and aloof. He has refused to do interviews, canceled a traditional press conference normally held on Bastille Day and faced pushback for his efforts to create an official First Lady position for his wife, Brigitte.


On Aug. 12, French pollster Ifop put Macron’s approval rating at just 36%. That may sink further as his government unveils detailed labor reforms after the summer break. Labor unions plan to begin widespread strikes on Sept. 12.

This appears in the September 04, 2017 issue of TIME.

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