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World Cup victory boosts French morale, but not Macron's popularity
July 17 2018 06:49 PM
Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron is seen at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Tuesday.

Reuters/Paris

Winning the soccer World Cup has turned the French, long-time pessimists, into optimists, but has not boosted President Emmanuel Macron's popularity, a survey showed on Tuesday.
Some 62% of the French polled by the Odoxa polling institute on July 16, the day after the French team's thrilling 4-2 defeat of Croatia in Moscow, said they were now optimistic about the future.
In March 2016, when Odoxa last asked the question, 53 percent of them were "pessimistic".
Some 82% of the French think Les Bleus' victory will boost national pride, 74% of them think it will improve France's image abroad, and 39% of them said it will have a positive impact on their own morale, Odoxa said.
However, France's second World Cup win after the 1998 victory on home soil has not lifted Macron's popularity, despite pictures of the 40-year old punching the air in celebration of the team's prowess on the pitch going viral on social media.
Only 39% of those polled by Odoxa said Macron was a good president, a 2 percentage point decrease since Odoxa's last poll on June 26.
"The 2018 victory will not have had the same impact on Emmanuel Macron's popularity that the 1998 had on Jacques Chirac's," Odoxa president Gael Sliman said in a note.
"He may have been found sincerely likable in the victory's festive atmosphere, but it visibly doesn't change anything to expectations towards him on the economic and social front," he said.
Nonetheless, the victory is good news for the French president, Sliman said, boosting morale ahead of belt-tightening measures expected in September's budget bill.
"It's the ideal situation for the president, who will unveil reforms that won't necessarily be popular," Sliman said. "Doing it while the French have their rose-tinted glasses on will be an asset." 



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