Still, Macron is a man in a hurry, sending his prime minister to Germany last week to convince the Germans: "Please, believe me, I can do cyclically inappropriate and politically destabilizing structural reforms you are asking for."
That is absurd, but that's the way it is: Macron is forgoing his large parliamentary majority to govern by executive decrees in order to make it easier to fire people in an economy where the unemployment rate rose, on his watch, to 9.8 percent in July from 9.5 percent in April, with a quarter of the French youth without jobs and a meaningful future.
All these entreaties to Berlin will come to naught. As in the past, Germany will take France's economic problems and its militant body politic as a negotiating ploy to impose its views. That was the case with Macron's immediate predecessors Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande.
The Germans are trying the same thing with Macron. Using their typical put-down zingers, German media called out Macron's "pompous grandstanding" on Europe's renewal during his excellent speech in Athens on September 5 from the hill of Pnyx, the birthplace of Western democracy, where ancient Greeks gathered to discuss public policies.
Macron is facing difficult options.
If he caves in to pressure from Berlin and Brussels and abandons his reform proposals, he will be mercilessly steamrolled by Germans, like his predecessors, and will expose himself as a weakling to ferocious attacks at home. Remember, in the first round of presidential elections last April, nearly half of French voters supported parties asking for more assertive French policies in defense of economic interests. They blamed the euro as an instrument of German austerity policies that led to rising poverty, soaring unemployment, deep recession and a sub-par economic recovery.
As the mass demonstrations are showing, these political forces have not disappeared; they are regrouping now and getting ready to pounce on what they see as a weak and disoriented government.
The second option for Macron, a man with deep sense of French history assailed by pressures from all sides, might be to get some guidance from the message Marshal Ferdinand Foch sent during the Battle of Marne in WWI: "My center is giving way, my right is retreating, situation excellent, I am attacking."
Macron's best bet could be to stand up and stick to his Eurozone reform proposals. Stand up indeed, because he got it right: An appropriate legislative and executive authority he is proposing is an absolute essential condition to frame sovereignty transfers for a common euro area fiscal policy. That would create a quasi-federal institutional environment to prevent policy domination by any single member country.
There is no need for French confrontation with Germany, although, true to form, Berlin seems to be pushing in that direction. Paris can easily demonstrate, and defend, that a rigorous institutional architecture must be put in place if key functions of a sovereign state are to be ceded and transferred to a supranational euro area entity.