According to this article:

Emmanuel Macron continues to surprise. On Sunday, in the first round of the French legislative elections, his La République En Marche movement, created only six months ago, came out with 32 per cent of the vote, far ahead of the right-wing Les Républicains with 22 per cent.

So, it seems that Emmanuel Macron and its government will have the required majority to implement promised reformations. One of them is related to the public sector (source):

[...] Mr Macron promised to reduce public spending by €60bn and cut 120,000 public sector jobs.

However, implementing public sector reformation looks very hard in a country with strong labor unions.

I remember a somewhat similar situation in Romania (2016). After a political crisis, a technocrat government came in and some argued that they "had nothing to lose" in implementing long promised reforms. They indeed started doing so in several areas, but public sector was not touched at all (most probably due to the short period before general elections).

So, public sector reformation seems a Gordian Knot: trying it may lead to massive protests and it will significantly lower the popularity, so very few politicians will have the courage to really implement it.

Question: what methods can a Government use to significantly produce a public sector reformation?

  • I would add in a country with deep seated trade unions/public sector support as a condition of the question Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 15:11

1 Answer 1


It happened in the UK in the 1970s-80s. Once things get bad enough the electorate will view the unions with hostility and blame them for the problems caused by strikes and other disruptions instead of the government. They will elect a government with a strong mandate to change things and support the actions they take to do it.

  • Very similar atmosphere was present in the press during the "Nuit Débout" movement in 2016.
    – Kaan E.
    Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 16:39

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