Elon Musk is in Europe.
The billionaire CEO, who has change into an influential voice in geopolitical affairs, noticed the pink carpet rolled out for him in France, the place he was invited by a weakened President Emmanuel Macron.
The French chief is attempting to relaunch his second time period, which has been marked by a pension reform that has prompted months of giant protests.
The reform step by step raises the authorized retirement age to 64 from 62, on the fee of three months a yr from Sept. 1, 2023, till 2030. But disabled staff will be capable to retire from age 55 and people on incapacity from age 60.
Musk has all the time supported Macron for this reform.
“Macron is doing the difficult, but right thing,” the entrepreneur stated in January. “The retirement age of 62 was set when lifespans were much shorter. It is impossible for a small number of workers to support a massive number of retirees.”
Rebooting Macron’s Presidency
The formal passage of this reform has opened a giant hole between Macron and the inhabitants. The president’s recognition ranking is at its lowest ranges.
To revive his administration, Macron, within the first yr of his second five-year time period, needs to show that he can appeal to overseas traders to France.
He thus organized on Monday, May 15, the summit known as “Choose France,” which is ready to convey collectively 200 bosses of overseas multinationals on the Palace of Versailles.
To succeed on this operation, Macron determined to ship a powerful message by inviting the world’s most well-known and influential CEO — Musk. By showing with the tycoon, Macron needs to point out that he’s capable of appeal to probably the most prestigious traders. The French president additionally plans a tv deal with within the night.
Macron was to obtain the Musk on the Elysee Palace. The two leaders have been then to take part in a roundtable, the president’s workplace stated. The French president additionally deliberate a dinner on the Élysée with Musk.
With some 13 billion euros ($14.14 billion) in investments introduced, the sixth version of “Choose France” comes after Macron’s bulletins regarding inexperienced trade, beginning with measures encouraging the event of electrical batteries. That’s some extent that would logically be raised with Musk, within the context of Tesla’s actions.
“There are negotiations going on,” with Tesla (TSLA) – Get Free Report possibly investing in France, Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told BFMTV about the meeting between Musk and Macron. “He has actions in […] the automotive trade. All the investments which are being made immediately are the results of months, and even years, of negotiations.”
He did not provide further details. But France wants to be a hub for production of electric-car batteries in Europe. The country beat Germany and the Netherlands last week for ProLogium’s first foreign car battery plant. The Taiwanese company later explained that it chose France because of very competitive power prices and the government’s intense lobbying.
Twitter May Be Blocked in France
Musk and Macron should also talk about a very sensitive topic that concerns Twitter.
The European Union last year adopted the Digital Services Act, a law aimed at making the internet a “safer house for customers.” It wants what is prohibited offline to be prohibited online as well. The text is also intended to force social networks to be more transparent about their moderation tools.
The DSA requires, for example, that social networks set up a button to report hateful posts. It should be easy to use. In other words, users should not have to click multiple times to trigger a report.
The law, which provides fines of as much as 6% of a platform’s overall revenue, is due to come into force soon.
Twitter is in a particularly bad position on this subject in Europe. Indeed, after acquiring the platform, Musk notably chose to lay off a large part of the platform’s moderation teams, scaring off a substantial number of advertisers.
In addition, in France, Twitter could be blocked due to the dissemination of pornographic content without age verification of internet users. The French government sent a warning to this effect to the social network in early May.
The Musk-Macron meeting provides an opportunity to try to ease tensions with the French authorities on this point.