Macron moves against elite university Ena

The Ecole Nationale d'Administration (Ena) is the elite university where France's top officials are trained. President Macron now wants to close the school down, apparently in reaction to the yellow vest protests, according to a text for a televised speech Macron was to give on Monday evening that was dropped due to the Notre-Dame blaze. Commentators are dismayed.

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Le Figaro (FR) /

Beware of reductionsim!

Shutting down the school of administration is too simplistic, Le Figaro writes:

“Like most of France's elite universities, the Ena has failed in one of its basic missions: recruiting students from all walks of life by merit alone. But is it responsible for, or is it a victim of, the failure of the national education system? How can it be blamed for the fact that this 'social ladder' which has been blocked from first grade on has broken down? Here too, attacking the effects won't do anything to remove the causes. Beware of reductionism! The French have rightly criticised the way the elites function and their 'arrogant' grip on power. But simply closing down the Ena won't be enough to reconcile the people with their leaders.”

Libération (FR) /

Bad state, good rich

Laurent Joffrin, editor-in-chief of Libération, can only shake his head at the criticism of the French elite:

“We need a scapegoat: why not the Ena? What a strange French paradox! The decision is taken to impose a symbolic sanction against high-level bureaucrats, who, however, obey the politicians on all counts. The latter, in turn, are devoted to the public good and in any event are rarely billionaires. At the same time, the good people are invited to take delight in the generosity of real billionaires who open their wallets to finance the reconstruction of Notre-Dame but who, it seems, are clearly partly responsible for the inequalities that the yellow vests and a large part of the French population are complaining about. Down with the state, long live the rich! A strange republic.”