Macron takes on the unvaccinated

French President Emmanual Macron made headlines on Tuesday after saying in an interview with the newspaper Le Parisien that he "really wants to piss off the non-vaccinated" and drastically restrict their social life. New Covid restrictions are to apply from mid-January under which the unvaccinated will be denied access to restaurants and theatres and other public spaces. Europe's media accuse Macron of callous electioneering.

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The Spectator (GB) /

President doesn't understand the people

Macron is making things difficult for himself by saying he wanted to "piss off" the unvaccinated and make their lives miserable, The Spectator suspects:

“Macron clearly hasn't learned the error of his ways, and his latest crass remarks will reinforce the impression that this is a callow president who doesn't understand the people he governs. All his belligerent rhetoric will achieve is to further alienate the unvaccinated and alarm many of the 90 per cent of the vaccinated who share Le Pen's sentiment that these are not the comments of a man fit to be their leader.”

Le Figaro (FR) /

French Trumpism

Macron's statements remind Le Figaro of Donald Trump:

“No other head of state or government has used language that is so inconsistent with the democratic canon in recent months. Macron's statements are not surprising, because they continue a trend that has only been accelerated by the pandemic. Macron has something in common with Trump: both try to mobilise voters through communication that is as blunt as it is hurtful. Seen in this light, Macronism is nothing but a Trumpism of the elites.”

L'Obs (FR) /

Now things are getting dirty

Macron has finally kicked off his election campaign, but in the wrong way, L'Obs concludes:

“You could have quoted Marx, Mr President, or Rosa Luxemburg's famous words: 'Freedom is always the freedom of dissenters'. You could have done rhetorical pirouettes and denigrated the outlaws from on high. But you chose to enter the arena with punchlines and sentences that reek of gunpowder. ... So you have chosen the option of getting your hands dirty and flexing your muscles.”

Trud (BG) /

His strategy could work

The current Covid polemic is part of Macron's campaign, Trud believes:

“The use of the colloquial 'emmerder' [piss them off], which is not part of traditional political jargon in France, has caused outrage among French politicians and public figures just under 100 days before the first round of the presidential election. Conservative Republican Party candidate Valérie Pécresse, who could end up in a run-off with incumbent President Emmanuel Macron, accused the head of state of dividing the French into 'good and evil'. ... Emmanuel Macron is going on the offensive, using the Covid-19 pandemic to take the lead. Recent studies show that almost two-thirds of French people support the introduction of a compulsory Covid vaccination certificate.”