To respond to the trial in lack of anticipation made by his opponents, Macron insisted Wednesday evening on the comparable measures taken these days by several European countries.
Without surprise, the curfew decreed Wednesday evening by Emmanuel Macron triggered an avalanche of particularly harsh criticism. Nearly 20 million people are affected by this measure which applies wherever the virus “Circulates very actively” : in the conurbations of Paris, Lille, Grenoble, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Montpellier, Rouen, Toulouse and Saint-Etienne. Sometimes smiling and rather relaxed, the Head of State was keen not to dramatize his announcements. This is why he had chosen to go through the interview, a formula less solemn and less dramatic than theaddress to the French retained on March 16 for the announcement of confinement. While acknowledging that he is «cruel» to have to give up “Moments of conviviality”, he tried to play down the drama: if all goes well, the nightlife could “Gradually resume” six weeks from now and Christmas is going almost normally. No reason, therefore, to give in to “the panic”. He even found in this battle a “Reason to hope” : “We are relearning to be a nation of united citizens. […] We will emerge stronger because we will be more united. ”
Suffice to say that these fine words have not disarmed the oppositions. The leader of the rebels Jean-Luc Mélenchon was indignant that the French were deprived of “Outings to the bar and restaurant” while they are asked to continue working and studying although it is established that 60% of the contaminations take place “At work, at school or at university”. The Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, replied on Twitter : “You confuse clusters and diagnostics. Too bad to argue at a time when we want to preserve education, safeguard jobs, and fight effectively against this epidemic in the interest of the French. ” Many opponents saw in this brutal curfew the distressing consequence of a lack of anticipation. “The French are unfortunately paying this evening for the inability of an executive to strengthen the resources of our French hospitals”, thus affirmed Senator LR of Bouches-du-Rhône Valérie Boyer. Opinion shared by Thierry Mariani (RN): “The French and entire sections of our economy will pay for the negligence of Macron and this government!”
“It goes back all over Europe”
Throughout his forty minutes of televised interview, the Head of State endeavored to demine these criticisms by arguing that the epidemic was resuming beyond national borders with a comparable intensity: “We are in what we called this second wave and it goes back all over Europe”, he declared at the outset, referring to the case of Spain and especially the Netherlands, whose “Very worrying situation”. With “More cases than we reported to the situation”, he stressed that the Dutch government had also taken very difficult decisions. Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Tuesday actually announced a “Partial containment” with closure of all bars and restaurants. “It will hurt, but it is the only solution”, he declared while his country, relatively spared by the first wave, recorded the third highest rate of new contaminations per 100,000 inhabitants in Europe, behind the Czech Republic and Belgium. Northern Ireland has also just announced the closure of pubs and restaurants from Friday, as well as schools for two weeks. Drastic measures are also increasing in several regions of Spain. On Wednesday evening, Macron did not fail to point out that even the irreproachable Germany imposed new restrictions to slow the circulation of the virus. The Chancellor also indicated Wednesday evening that she considered them insufficient. The number of new daily patients is however three times less important than in France.
To respond to the lawsuits made against him by his opponents, the Head of State highlights the first conclusions of the evaluation report that the Swiss infectious disease specialist Didier Pittet has just submitted to him. While pointing “Manifest flaws in anticipation, preparation and management” from the health crisis last spring, this report concludes that France is not doing too badly in international comparisons. Based on the indicator which seems to him the most relevant (number of days spent above the threshold of 1 Covid death per million inhabitants), it appears that France did less well than Germany and Switzerland , but better than UK, Italy, Spain, Sweden or, of course, USA. Deeming it obviously comforting, Macron referred several times, Wednesday evening, to this grim record.