Repentant Macron: a catharsis?

In his fourth televised address on the corona crisis, French President Macron on Monday night admitted mistakes in the efforts to fight the pandemic. In recent weeks the government has been heavily criticised for poor crisis management, failing to provide sufficient protective equipment, delays and contradictions. Journalists take different views of the speech.

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Le Monde (FR) /

Warlord airs give way to humility

Instead of the bellicose rhetoric he used in mid-March, Macron is now showing humility, Le Monde observes:

“Often slow to repent, Emmanuel Macron has for the first time admitted 'a lack of preparation', mistakes', 'inadequacies' and 'failures' in the management of the epidemic. Adopting a modest tone, he acknowledged his inability to predict the end of the epidemic, since herd immunity is still a long way off. With a human touch he stressed his compassion for and gratitude to the French, whose discipline and commitment had allowed France to stand up to the pandemic. Although the time for reconstruction has not yet come, the president has understood that the crisis requires him to do more to unify the country before embarking on the last two years of his mandate.”

Mediapart (FR) /

Annoying role-playing

The president has slipped into yet another new role, groans Mediapart:

“It's a new role for someone who loves castings. A role as hypnotist for a worried, depressed, and even traumatised France. ... Macron has switched roles so often since his election that at times you simply can't keep up. ... The stage set, costumes, script and language change with every performance. The role of president is no longer simply one of exercising power, which in the Fifth Republic is subject to the laws of re-election and replacement. With Emmanuel Macron it has a vicarious function, capable of filling in for the shortcomings of all the organs of power through presidential gesticulation and deception.”