Macron’s week from hell — and the bad news just keeps coming

Migrants struggle onto a small boat while French police party in bars

As if it couldn’t get any worse for Emmanuel Macron, the UK has now overtaken France as the world’s eighth-largest manufacturer, an upcoming report by trade body Make UK claims.

The French President – whose net approval rating sits at -31 percent according to – has had a rough year. Since his successful re-election bid last year, the crises have kept coming.

In March, widespread and frequently violent protests erupted across the country after his government forced through an increase in the country’s retirement age from 62 to 64.

Just this week, a two-week Express investigation uncovered that law enforcement agencies in Calais were failing to hold up their end of a bargain with the UK to prevent migrants from making perilous Channel crossings by small boat.

Big money is also turning sour on the country, as one of France’s biggest multinational banks has encouraged investors to get their money “out of the Eurozone”.

READ MORE: Migrant Channel crossings top 23,000 so far this year after 2k arrivals in days

Banking on Britain

Analysts at BNP Paribas – the French multinational which employs nearly 200,000 people worldwide – now believe the UK is a smarter place to invest than the EU, in a huge boost to the City after years of post-Brexit uncertainty.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Viktor Hjort, head of credit research at the bank, said: “The outlook for UK equities is not bad at all. The FTSE is a value market. It has lots of energy and materials and a lot of banks.”

He added: “We think this kind of environment is quite favourable to value investing in general as opposed to growth. The UK is a pretty good example of that.”

The cheap pound, the economy performing better than anticipated and an attractive mix of sectors – with both a world-leading financial services industry in the capital and booming manufacturing nationwide – were cited as reasons behind the expert’s rosy view of Britain’s future.

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Rugby unruliness

If the eyes of the world are trained on France at the moment, however, it is for the Rugby World Cup, which kicked off on Friday. As the hosts prepared to take on the formidable New Zealand side in Paris, Mr Macron was booed by the Stade de France crowds.

The following day in Marseille, French authorities came under fire again for a lack of preparedness as hundreds of English fans were left stranded outside the Stade Velodrome to watch their opener against Argentina.

Some supporters who had arrived well in advance weren’t able to gain entry until 20 minutes into the game, while others were caught in a crush at the gates, the Evening Standard reports. 

Rugby’s governing body was subsequently forced to issue an apology for the “access challenges,” as similar congestion issues were noted at the Paris opener and in Bordeaux for Ireland’s match against Romania.

Migrant malfeasance

But, in perhaps the most damning indictment of Mr Macron’s governance, many officers in Calais funded by the £480milllion UK-taxpayer-funded initiative to get to grips with the migrant crisis have been found in complete dereliction of duty.

The Express’s own investigation into the issue spoke to one man from the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité (CRS) who admitted, despite being paid by the UK to police the beaches: “We don’t stop the migrants, it’s not our job to stop them. A couple of days ago I let a family go that wanted to leave. They touched my heart.

“Before we are cops we are humans. When I see those migrant families I just want to let them be – I should not say that – but we cannot welcome all the misery in the world in France.”

The UK sent Mr Macron over £62million over the past financial year to bolster anti-smuggling operations, but the problem has only got worse. The five-year tally for illegal Channel crossings crossed the 100,000 mark this summer, as over 23,000 have now made the journey already this year.

Senior Tory MP David Jones said the findings confirmed longstanding suspicions that “the French commitment to stopping the vile people-smuggling trade is little more than a facade.”

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