French President Macron celebrates 40th birthday on the rise

December 21, 2017

FILE - In this Dec.19, 2017 file photo, French President Emmanuel Macron adjusts his tie at the Elysee Palace, in Paris. As Macron turns 40 Thursday, he's wrapping up a remarkable year. In the seven months since he won a long-shot presidential bid, he has proved to be a key leader in Europe and in the world, at the forefront of the battles against terrorism and climate change and mediating in crises around the Middle East. Now the hard part: transforming France, where critics brand him an arrogant monarch. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron had some good news for his 40th birthday.

Three polls show his ratings bouncing back after a clumsy start to his presidency. After his May election, Macron was dubbed “president of the rich” and his popularity sank over his abrupt changes to labor laws and perceived arrogance.

But polls this week by Ifop, BVA and Odoxa showed more than half of respondents saying they are now satisfied with or have a good opinion of the president.

Pollsters say the improving economy is working in his favor.

But critics still lurk.

An early birthday celebration at the spectacular Chateau of Chambord in the Loire Valley fueled a tide of snide comments on social media about Macron’s taste for opulent royal symbols.

France’s youngest-ever president turned 40 Thursday.

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