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in Dijon, Emmanuel Macron finally embarks on the campaign

Emmanuel Macron during a campaign trip to Dijon, March 28, 2022.

A wandering in a popular district, with walkabouts; casual exchanges, punctuated by encouragement but also by reproaches in a lively tone… He finally took his risk. Emmanuel Macron will therefore have waited for the opening of the official campaign to resolve to finally enter the fray. Less than a fortnight before the presidential election, the President of the Republic made his first “real” trip as a candidate, going to Dijon on Monday March 28.

Instead of playing it safe, contenting himself with tailor-made “conversations” with carefully selected activists, as in Pau and Poissy (Yvelines), or promotional videos staged by his team, Mr. Macron this time was in contact, by meeting locals and shopkeepers. A first for him in this minimal campaign, which he flies over. Before another trip planned for Thursday in the west of France, focused on ecology, and his first, and perhaps last, big meeting, next Saturday, at the Arena in Paris.

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A constrained and forced change of format, so much his overhanging posture arouses fears in his entourage. If the “war in Ukraine” effect had made him jump in the polls, his slight decline in recent days – he remains the big favorite in the ballot, with 28% of voting intentions in the first round, according to the Ipsos poll – Sopra Steria for The world – convinced him to change his strategy. No more question of being focused on the war in Ukraine, at the risk of giving the impression of not being focused on the subjects of concern to the French. Especially at a time when its main competitor, the candidate of the National Rally, Marine Le Pen, benefits from a dynamic thanks to a local campaign, focused on purchasing power.

He who said he wanted “to be on the attack, in combat”, the day before, on France 3, was served. As soon as he arrived at the Maison des associations, in the popular district of Fontaine d’Ouche, Mr. Macron was questioned about purchasing power. Especially on soaring gasoline prices. Jawad, a 46-year-old commercial agent, faces the head of state, in shirt sleeves. “The 18 cents you give on diesel is ridiculous! How to fill a tank at 140 euros? »he asks, before regretting not having “nothing left to live on” after having ” paid the bills”.

While the tenant of the Elysée opposes the 20 billion euros paid in total by the State to compensate for the rise in energy prices, Jawad retorts: “You don’t realize. Put yourself in the shoes of a French family. Doing your shopping, putting in gas… It’s horrible! » Like a cry from the heart. “There is no magic money”replies Mr. Macron, before defending his proposal of the “employee dividend”aimed at making the payment of a profit-sharing bonus compulsory for staff in companies that pay dividends.

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