05282020What's Hot:

Emmanuel Macron’s Amateur Politicians Are Poised to Remake French Parliament

He excelled in school, earned a master’s degree in development economics at the London School of Economics, worked for two years as an economist in Mozambique for the French overseas development agency AFD and was a Stanford University research associate in Kenya.

He speaks fluently about developing-world economic strategies, says he has never been the subject of racial discrimination in a part of France where there are few immigrants and shrewdly recognizes the exoticism of his appeal to the voters.

“People come to me because of my background,” Mr. Berville said in an interview in the regional hub of Dinan. “They come to me because I am not the archetype of a traditional political movement. My origins elicit curiosity.”

Later, at a town hall meeting in Lanvallay, he spoke the language of the well-versed French technocrat, fluently batting away the crowd’s concerns that Mr. Macron’s mild deregulatory urge might leave France’s well-protected citizens too exposed.

“What’s missing in France is fluidity in the work-employment relationship,” Mr. Berville said.

Mr. Macron wants to open up unemployment benefits to independent workers, while loosening up the rigid French labor code to make it easier to hire and fire. His candidate in Brittany had no difficulty defending a program “liberating energies and protecting individuals,” as he put it.

“He incarnates a profound change that is happening in France,” said Jerome Wenz, 63, a retired civil servant, who listened to Mr. Berville in Lanvallay.

“It’s a change of generation, a kick in the anthill,” he said. “And he incarnates the possibility of hope in regard to Europe — the hope of taking care of the future of our planet.”

Source: NYT > World

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