Nobel laureate in French literature, others call for protest against Macron as inflation bites

PARIS, Oct 9 (Reuters) – A group of French intellectuals, including Nobel literature laureate Annie Ernaux, urged people on Sunday to join protests planned by the left for next week, blaming President Emmanuel Macron of not doing enough to help the poor cope with high prices while some companies are making windfall profits.

“Emmanuel Macron uses inflation to widen the wealth gap, to boost capital income at the expense of the rest,” the group of 69 signatories, including writers, directors and university professors, said in a published text. in the Sunday newspaper.

“It’s all a matter of political will,” says the text, co-signed by Ernaux, who on Thursday became the first French woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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The text says the government has not done enough to tackle soaring energy prices and has refused to raise taxes on companies making windfall profits due to high inflation.

While French inflation has risen sharply this year, mainly due to the war in Ukraine, the rise is among the lowest of eurozone countries in recent months, as the French government has introduced measures ranging from freezing from gas prices to food vouchers. and special pump price subsidies.

The signatories appealed to join the protest march scheduled for October 16, organized by the political movement of the far-left France Insoumise party, which this year entered into an alliance with more moderate left-wing parties to form the largest opposition bloc from France.

The march, promoted by France Unbowed as ‘against the high cost of living and climate inaction’, comes as Macron faces stiff resistance from unions over a pension reform bill and workers’ strikes demanding higher retail wages at refineries have disrupted parts of the economy.

The Swedish Academy, in awarding the Nobel Prize to 82-year-old Ernaux, said it ‘coherently and from different perspectives examines a life marked by stark gender, language and class disparities’ .

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Reporting by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Leslie Adler

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