“Respecting these rules means staying in the government. Not respecting them means leaving.”
But Macron, who has never claimed to be a socialist, was no stranger to rubbing up party big wigs the wrong way – none more so than his Prime Minister Manuel Valls.
He sent pulses racing not too long after being nominated as a minister by suggesting the sacred 35-hour week was not sacred and could be reformed.
He then prompted many of them to start sweating profusely by suggesting France’s sacred civil servants or fonctionnaires should be given performance-related pay. He also suggested France should scrap its wealth tax.
The elephants of the party lined up to lambast him. “He’s not a team player,” they said.
But Macron did not seem to care as distancing himself from unpopular government seemed part of his plan.
“He knows exactly what he is doing,” French political expert Bruno Cautres told The Local. “A clever guy like that doesn’t say provocative things by accident.”
If as expected Macron announces a bid to become president, many believe it will scupper any chance of Hollande being reelected and simply result in a right wing candidate – possible Nicolas Sarkozy taking power at the Elysée.