Macron: French 'Gauls' resistant to change, unlike 'Lutheran' Danes - Whisper Eye

Macron: French ‘Gauls’ resistant to change, unlike ‘Lutheran’ Danes

President Emmanuel Macron has angered opponents by accusing French “Gauls” of being resistant to change.

On a visit to Copenhagen, Mr Macron praised Denmark’s economic model – combining a flexible labour market with generous welfare benefits.

But he said cultural differences between the “Lutheran” Danes and the French “Gauls” made it difficult to adopt such a system in France.

Mr Macron came to power on a pledge to reform France’s enormous labour code.

He has long stated his ambition to overhaul France’s labour market towards a more “Nordic model”.

His speech in Denmark was not the first time he has used a foreign visit to highlight what he sees as the resistance to those reforms.

Last year, on a visit to Romania, Mr Macron said France was “not a reform able country”, adding: “Many have tried and failed, because the French hate reforms.”.

Mr Macron’s latest comments came on Wednesday at an event in Copenhagen in which he reiterated his admiration for the Danish “flexicurity” model.

“What is possible is linked to a culture, a people marked by their own history. These Lutheran [Danish] people, who have lived through the transformations of recent years, are not exactly Gauls who are resistant to change,” he said.

Opposition politicians quickly seized on his speech, with many criticising his reference to “Gauls” – the name given by the Romans to those who lived in the region that now includes France, Belgium and the Netherlands