President Emmanuel macron faced on Wednesday the anger of his opponents and the chaos in parliament after issuing a Provocative warning to people in France who are not yet vaccinated against Covid-19 that he would pressure them as much as possible by limiting access to key aspects of life.
Macron, who has yet to formally declare his candidacy for re-election in April, was criticized by rivals who were already in the race, accusing him of crossing the line with his comments.
The uproar caused a new delay in the approval of the legislation destined to toughen the rules by the Covid of France at a time when the country is facing record daily infection rates driven by the Omicron strain of the virus.
“As for the unvaccinated, I really want to bother them”, told the newspaper Le Parisien in an interview, using the French verb “Emmerder”.
Derived from the word “merde” which means “shit”, the word is considered vulgar slang in France.
This would mean “Limit as much as possible their access to activities of social life”added.
Almost all of the people, more than 90%, have joined the vaccination and it is a small minority that is refractory. How do we reduce this minority? We reduce it, sorry to put it like that, annoying it even more
“We have to tell (the unvaccinated) … that you will no longer be able to go to the restaurant. You will no longer be able to go for coffee, you will no longer be able to go to the theater. I won’t be able to go to the movies anymore “said the president.
“We will continue to do this, until the end. This is the strategy “Macron added.
According to government figures, 91 percent of French people over the age of 18 are fully vaccinated.
I hammered in parliament
The rate increased during the summer after the introduction of a “Health pass” that restricted many activities to those with proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or recovery from coronavirus infection.
But that still leaves million people without coverage while the Omicron wave breaks into the country.
In response, the Macron government plans to make vaccination the only way to maintain access to much of public life with a so-called “vaccine pass” introduced as of January 15.
The parliamentary debate on toughening was already fierce, and the opposition forced debate on the bill to be delayed on Monday night.
Macron’s comments quickly derailed the action on camera after it resumed Tuesday night, suspending examination of the bill again and jeopardizing the government’s timetable for its entry into force.
The chair of the session, Marc le fursaid that the atmosphere in the National Assembly it does not offer “conditions for a quiet work environment.”
The head of the right-wing Republicans (LR) in the chamber, Damien Abad, released comments “Unworthy, irresponsible and premeditated” who displayed “childish cynicism.”
Meanwhile, the party leader, Christian Jacob, said the group “He refused to endorse a text that aims to piss off the French.”
The controversy has erupted amid an increasingly feverish pre-election atmosphere in France.. Macron said in the interview that he wants to run for a second term in the April presidential vote, but declaring his intentions now would distract him from managing the health crisis.
Opponents accused the president of going too far in the language of his warning.
“It is not up to the President of the Republic to choose the good and bad French”Macron’s main rival, Republican candidate Valerie Pecresse, told the broadcaster. CNews.
He asked for a government “That brings people together and calms things down.”
Macron “He has never felt president of all the French”, accused the far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. The far-left activist Jean-Luc Melenchon called the vaccine approval plan “Collective punishment against individual freedom.”
Other critics scoffed at the president’s claim last month that “I have learned to have much more respect for everyone”, after he previously earned a reputation for sometimes tactless comments.
A former investment banker with little experience in politics before coming to power in 2017, Macron was accused of speaking badly to voters in the first years of his presidency and faced a backlash from protesters from the “Yellow vests” for months.
But Macron’s former prime minister, Edouard philippehe said on television France 2 who was backing up his old boss.
“The president does not want fully vaccinated people to be subject to restrictions because between eight and 10 percent of the population refuse.”, He said.
“I think there is a vast majority of people who agree.”
Macron, who was elected in 2017 with a commitment to reform France and restore its status as a world power, he is the great favorite to win the electionsBut analysts warn that his victory is far from certain.
His most insidious rival could turn out to be Pecresse.
(With information from AFP)