French President Emmanuel Macron denounced “capitalism gone mad” in an address Tuesday to the UN’s International Labour Organization, while urging enhanced social protections in a global economy plagued by inequality.
Macron made the comments at a conference marking the ILO’s 100th anniversary, which has drawn dozens of heads of state and government.
In a 45-minute address, the French president nodded to the founding principles of the ILO — the only international body created under the League of Nations, the forerunner to the UN, that survived the rise of fascism and World War II.
“Built on the still smouldering embers of the First World War,” the ILO was founded on the belief that securing future peace required “social justice … (and) respect for workers,” Macron said.
Warning that these principles were under threat, Macron called for a return to the “social market economy where everyone finds their share”, rather than a system that sees “the capture of wealth by a few”.
When people feel cut off from the hope of prosperity they can be drawn to authoritarianism and the belief that “democracy no longer protects them against the inequalities of capitalism gone mad,” Macron said.
At the ILO conference that runs through to June 21, delegates are due to agree a resolution on the Future of Work which is expected to address risks to workers rights ranging from automation to the gig economy.
Macron called for “universal social protections,” and renewed his appeal for a European minimum wage, warning that the consequences of intensifying inequality would be grave.
“I believe that the crisis we are experiencing can lead to war and the disintegration of democracies. I am deeply convinced of it,” he said.
Addressing the ILO conference before Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, also said that “securing decent working conditions” was an urgent global priority.
– Anti-harassment convention –
The French leader offered support to another key initiative at the ILO conference: a new convention on harassment and violence in the workplace that would enhance protections for workers, especially those vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
“We fully support the adoption of this convention,” Macron said.
The ILO’s work, including on the anti-harassment text, is often complicated by its tripartite structure that includes government officials, union leaders and private sector employer representatives.
Employers have voiced concern about the harassment convention, especially whether an enterprise should be responsible for abuses that happen away from the workplace.
Masks take center stage in presidential race as Biden slams Trump for ‘costing people’s lives’
In an interview with CNN's Dana Bash on Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden laid into President Donald Trump for his comments belittling his decision to wear a mask at the Memorial Day events at the beginning of the week.
"He's a fool, an absolute fool to talk that way," said Biden. He added that "This macho stuff ... It's costing people's lives."
Trump has frequently refused to don a mask while speaking to the media, even when he is in public places where masks are required.
“He’s a fool, an absolute fool to talk that way,” Biden to @DanaBashCNN about Trump belittling his wearing of a mask. “This macho stuff ... It’s costing people’s lives.”
Trump says he can ‘absolutely’ force governors to reopen churches if he decides to do so
At Tuesday's coronavirus press briefing, President Donald Trump was pressed on whether he really has the authority to force governors to allow houses of worship to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. "Can you explain what authority you had in mind when you said that you would do that?" asked a reporter.
The president emphasized that he does have the power — but did not elaborate on how specifically he would do so, and added that he doesn't think he will have to.
"I can absolutely do it if I want to," said Trump. "I don't think I'm going to have to, because it's starting to open up. We need our churches and our synagogues and our mosques. We want them open, churches, synagogues, mosques, and other — we want them open and we want them open as soon as possible."
Trump continues pushing conspiracy theories about Joe Scarborough — immediately after reporter tells him about widower begging him to stop
At Tuesday's White House press briefing, President Donald Trump was asked by reporters if he was aware of the letter from the widower of deceased congressional aide Lori Klausutis, begging the president to stop promoting conspiracy theories that she had been murdered by former representative and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough.
The president replied, "Yeah I have." However, almost immediately after, he used the moment to continue pushing the conspiracy theory, adding, "As you know, there's no statute of limitations."
Asked if he's seen the distressed letter from the widower of Lori Klausutis about Trump turning her death into fodder, Trump says "yeah I have," then continues propagating his conspiracy nonsense, then says, "As you know, there's no statute of limitations."