David McWilliams: France's unrest shows the limits of economics

It is hard to see, from a purely economic perspective, where French anger comes from

France’s president Macron is deeply unpopular, and his efforts to placate the national protests through the narrow gauge lens of economics have thus far made things worse. Why? Photograph:  Getty Images

France’s president Macron is deeply unpopular, and his efforts to placate the national protests through the narrow gauge lens of economics have thus far made things worse. Why? Photograph: Getty Images

Two huge rivers, the Rhone and the Soane which converge in Lyon, have been ferrying goods, people and ideas into this majestic city for centuries. The Greeks were here, so too were the Romans. The Romans made this place the capital of Gaul.

When Julius Caesar was assassinated, the recently subjugated Gauls revolted, prompting the Romans to move their city to the high ground over the rivers. From here the city flourished, close to Italy, Switzerland and Germany, absorbing ideas and people from each region.

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