French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech in Quimper, France, June 21, 2018. (REUTERS/Stephane Mahe)
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After lying low on the Riviera through the summer break following a scandal over his bodyguard that has rocked his presidency, Emmanuel Macron embarks this week on the next wave of deep reform to France's economy and institutions.While France's 40-year-old leader is unshaken in his determination and self-belief, the so-called Benalla affair, which was as much about Macron's own monarchic leadership style as the violent conduct of his bodyguard, could yet undermine the next reform push and expose his weaknesses.Macron ordered a shake-up of his office after the scandal brought the sharpest criticism he has faced since taking power 15 months ago.On pensions, Macron wants to merge France's more-than forty different public- and private-sector pension systems into a simpler system.These against a backdrop of sliding popularity for Macron, which IPSOS put at 32 percent in late July.
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