French Economy minister Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Trogneux arrive at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, to attend a dinner in honour of Spain's King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, June 2, 2015. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
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On Christmas Eve 2015, with France reeling from terror attacks in Paris a month before, Emmanuel Macron sent a letter to the president and prime minister, urging sweeping measures to tackle French inequalities that he believed were fueling extremism.Macron had been feuding with Prime Minister Manuel Valls for months and grown increasingly frustrated with the slow pace of change under President Francois Hollande. Days later, Valls rebuked Macron in Parliament, saying his comments amounted to an apology for the extremists.Valls had made clear what he thought of the Christmas Eve letter, to which Macron never received a formal response.Some members of the government reacted by vilifying Macron as an ungrateful "Brutus".Valls, defeated by Benoit Hamon in the Socialist primary, has said he will vote for Macron.First, Macron would need to show he can deliver on reforms of the labor market and pare back a French state that accounts for 57 percent of economic output, the highest level in Europe.Macron may struggle to cobble together a centrist majority in Parliament in legislative elections to be held in June.
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