Centrist Emmanuel Macron's popularity has dropped over labour reform and a standoff with the military and cuts to housing assistance.

French President Emmanuel Macron visits a recreational centre for children in Moisson, France August 3, 2017.
French President Emmanuel Macron visits a recreational centre for children in Moisson, France August 3, 2017. (Reuters)

French President Emmanuel Macron completes his 100 days in office amid falling popularity ratings after tough debates in parliament over labour reform and a public ethics law.

Macron is also facing a standoff with the military over defence budget cuts.

Centrist Macron, France's youngest leader since Napoleon, was elected in May on a promise to usher in sweeping economic and social reforms to haul France out of its economic malaise.

TRT World's Editor-at-large Craig Copetas reports.

For strategy consultant and lecturer at Sciences Po university Stephane Rozes, if Macron has achieved anything in his first 100 days it is putting France back on the map.

"It is still too early to make an objective assessment of the first steps of Macron's presidency on the international stage. But we can make two observations: the first, for our foreign friends, the media, commentators, France is back," he said.

The young president has been on a roll meeting the main European leaders to boost reforms to the EU and eurozone, as well as hosting world leaders such as US President Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin in the attempt of finding a solution to the war in Syria.

Earlier during his presidency, Macron also drew praise at home and from the international community for his strong backing of the Paris climate agreement where he is seen speaking English in a video, a rarity for French presidents.

Positive impressions

French citizens have mostly remained positive in their impressions of Macron and his government so far.

On the jobs reform front, Macron's government scored a victory last week when it won the Senate's backing to deregulate the labour market that will now go back to company bosses and trade unions before being written into law.

Parliament's lower house also approved a new public ethics bill, over-ruling Senate objections to a proposal scrapping a constituency fund for lawmakers. 

The bill is designed to clean up French politics.

The downside

But a reduction in housing aid, controversy over the timing of promised tax breaks for tenants, and allegations of financial scandal against members of his government that led to some early ministerial resignations have tainted Macron's first months in the Elysee.

The resignation of his armed forces chief after a row between the two men over defence budget cuts was another early blow, and the standoff was seen by Macron's critics as evidence of an over-controlling nature.

An Ifop poll published on Friday (August 11) showed 36 percent of voters held a favourable view of the 39-year-old president, compared to his predecessor Francois Hollande who at the same moment in 2012 held 46 percent of favourable votes.

Source: Reuters