French President Emmanuel Macron, whose hopes of winning a second term face a growing challenge from the opposition, said he has been humbled by the pandemic and his mistakes -- and learned a lot from both.
sharp tongue, combined with a very top-down approach to power, have
upset many voters and cost Macron popularity. This could be a key
obstacle to his re-election.
have learned (from the pandemic), and I am more sensitive to some
things than I was before," Macron said in an interview broadcast on
Wednesday by TF1 and LCI TV channels, adding that it was clear French
hospitals, for instance, needed help.
opinion polls had long shown Macron easily winning a second mandate,
that now seems less clear. He went out of his way on Wednesday to say he
had learned from his errors, for instance when he abruptly told a young
unemployed man he would find a job if he just crossed the street and
have sometimes been very harsh," Macron said. "I have realised that we
can't change things without an infinite respect for each and everyone."
He added: "Have I made mistakes? Yes, a lot."
he has not yet officially said he will run for a second term in April,
and he again dodged the question, Macron has de facto started
campaigning. He said in the interview he was as determined as ever to
continue reforming France.
who had been a minister under Socialist President Francois Holland, ran
in the last election as a political outsider who was neither of the
left nor the right.
during a presidency hit by social unrest over his pro-business economic
reform, his policymaking has drifted to the right, alienating some
To gain re-election, he needs to win some of them back but also fend off a challenge from conservative rival Valerie Pecresse, who recent polls show has a shot at reaching the second round and beating Macron.
convince the centre-right or conservative voters, he insisted he will
continue with reforms - even if, he said, his pension reform may not be
as drastic as initially planned.
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