Letters to the public from French presidents are rare and usually at the end of their term in office..
But just under two years into his...Emmanuel Macron has penned a 2,300 word one... Asking the public to wade in on policy in a national debate that begins on Tuesday... (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH FINANCE MINISTER, BRUNO LE MAIRE, SAYING: "It is a question of will.
Firstly, a will to hear out the French people.
And secondly a will to succeed in service of all French people." The announcement follows nine weeks of protests led by the so-called Yellow Vest movement... which began as a demonstration against high fuel prices... But turned into a sometimes violent wider fight against Macron's policies... SOUNDBITE) (French) PARISIAN, NATASHA LADOVITCH, 50, MARKET TRADER, SAYING: "I think to calm the protesters the President must be a little less arrogant and a little closer to the population.
I think for the moment; however, he is very very distant, and he has given a lot of hope but in fact he hasn't stuck to his word at all." The debate, clearly an attempt to change such views.
By asking for feedback on taxes, green energy, institutional reform and citizenship Both online and in town halls over the next two months... In April, Macron will return with his conclusions.
(SOUNDBITE) (French) MINISTER FOR EDUCATION, JEAN-MICHEL BLANQUER, SAYING: "It's unprecedented to have this kind of debate at a national level and at a global scale, I don't have a comparable example.
So, it's an opportunity to seize and come out of this crisis." But critics are not so sure.
Macron has said he will remain faithful to his campaign manifesto... And has indicated he will push on with his pro-business economic reforms, such as scrapping a wealth tax, A policy that's earned him the nickname "president of the rich."