Europe’s leaders curtail summer holidays in light of crises

Emmanuel Macron, France, French President

It would be an understatement of the obvious to say that Europeans cherish their summer break.

But after an intense spring of negotiations over Britain’s impending exit from the European Union, the incessant influx of illegal migrants, repeated terrorist attacks alongside banking crises and populist uprisings, can the Continent’s political class really afford weeks of slow and steady recharging?

Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain and much of the European Union leadership in Brussels have, as in years past, decamped for extended getaways. But others, perhaps more mindful of the negative optics of frolicking as crises loom, have left the long beach holidays of yore to quiver like mirages in the Mediterranean sun.

Emmanuel Macron, the newly elected president of France, who is already suffering a postelection plunge in the polls, will take but a “few days of vacation in France” after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, according to the Élysée press officer. Mr. Macron’s aide declined to specify exactly when or where the president would go, but insisted he would remain “available at any time.”

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