Back in January, French president Emmanuel Macron announced that he would be holding a series of “Grand Débats” in order to better gauge the wishes and misgivings of the French people.
These debates are an attempt for Macron to bolster his rapidly declining popularity metrics in the wake of the gilets jaunes protests, which have now been going on for more than three months. But many are unsure of exactly how effective these debates will be. In this video, the BBC News team goes all around France to interview vastly different groups of French people — young and old, rich and poor — about how they feel about the debates. They even visit Bourgtheroulde, the small town where Macron gathered hundreds of mayors from around France to announce this grand plan for engaging the French people.
There are still many debates to go, but Macron has promised that when it is all over and done with, every complaint will be read, and a comprehensive project will be undergone to address as many of the people’s concerns as possible. But we’ll see just what “possible” looks like when an estimated third of France’s 67 million population weighs in.