Mary Clare O'Donnell is a journalist based in Köln, Germany.
In August this time last year, came the first of a wave of protests against labor reforms from then newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron. (Protesters taking to the streets in France by the hundreds of thousands since last year. Source: The Nation) Macron’s response to protesters was delivered at a speech in Athens, announcing to the world he would not “yield anything, to either the lazy, the cynics, or the extremists.” Back in early 2017 many considered Macron a savior for an ailing European economy. The hope was understandable: a charismatic young leader could unite the EU, and rebuild the union’s moral after the harsh blow of Brexit.
In June 2018 as Donald Trump announced the U.S.’s withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council, it was on the basis in part of the UN being a ‘wasteful,’ poorly run organization. The decision was extreme, like most of Trump’s decisions. The critique of the UN from Trump, and its debt riddled finances are revealing of a wider trend between the public and private sector.