Nobel prize winner Annie Ernaux calls for Macron protests over high prices

This year's literature awardee among group of French intellectuals who believe French leader is failing to protect the poor

Nobel prize winner Annie Ernaux says she 'consistently and from different angles examines a life marked by strong disparities regarding gender, language and class'.  AFP
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A group of French intellectuals, including Nobel literature prize winner Annie Ernaux, on Sunday urged people to join protests planned for next week, accusing President Emmanuel Macron of failing to do enough to help the poor cope with high prices while some companies reap windfall profits.

Emmanuel Macron is using inflation to widen the wealth gap, to boost capital income at the expense of the rest", the group of 69 signatories, including writers, film directors and university teachers, said in a text published in the Journal Du Dimanche.

"It is all a matter of political will", said the text, co-signed by Ernaux, who on Thursday became the first French woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The text said the government has not done enough to fight spiralling energy prices and declined to rise taxes on companies making windfall profits because of high inflation.

While French inflation has risen sharply this year, mainly as a result of the war in Ukraine, the rise is among the lowest of eurozone countries in recent months as the French government put in place measures ranging from a gas price freeze to food cheques and special subsidies on pump prices.

The signatories made a call to join the protest march planned for October16 that is organised by the political movement of the socialistic France Unbowed party, which this year struck an alliance with other left-wing parties to form France's largest opposition bloc.

The march, promoted by France Unbowed as being "against the high cost of living and climate inaction", comes as Mr Macron faces stiff resistance from unions over a planned pensions reform and as strikes by workers demanding a pay rise from retail to refineries have disrupted parts of the economy.

The Swedish Academy, in awarding the 82-year-old Ernaux the Nobel prize, said she "consistently and from different angles examines a life marked by strong disparities regarding gender, language and class".

Updated: October 09, 2022, 10:56 AM