With a ‘not so diplomatic’ vaccine swipe, Macron sparks EU division just one week into his new job.
MACRON has been chastised for derailing a joint press conference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in order to renew his attacks on unvaccinated French citizens.
During a press conference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Emmanuel Macron admitted to wanting to “p*** off” unvaccinated French by limiting “as much as possible their access to activities in social life.” He was chastised for being “not super diplomatic” for derailing the event to focus on his Covid policy.
Catherine Nicholson, European Affairs Editor for France 24, questioned the language used by the French President, noting that a leader taking over the presidency of the European Union is usually more focused on gaining support from EU partners.
“Ursula von der Leyen spoke more cautiously about this topic,” Ms Nicholson said.
“She spoke about striking a balance between individual and collective freedoms.
“It was perhaps not very diplomatic of Macron to bring this up so much on such a grand occasion as the launch of France’s rotational presidency of the Council.”
“As a country in that position, like France, you’re supposed to be looking for common ground, trying to bring European countries together rather than launching big, fiery debates and being controversial.”
President Macron said he stood by his earlier statements, saying he wanted to warn the five million French people who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 and that it was his responsibility to do so because of the Omicron threat.
“I stand by my previous remarks,” he said.
The French president went on to say that it was the authorities’ responsibility to impose restrictions on those who had not been vaccinated in order to protect the more than 90% of French citizens who had been vaccinated.
Due to the high contagiousness of the new Omicron coronavirus variant, France is reporting more than 200,000 new COVID-19 cases per day on average, an all-time high.
On Saturday, anti-vaccine demonstrators took to the streets of France, chanting “We’ll piss you off” in response to his remarks.
Others held signs that read “No to the Vaccine Pass,” a reference to Macron’s legislative push to require proof of vaccination in places like cafes, bars, and museums.
Demonstrators marched in Marseille, Nantes, and Le Mans, among other cities.
Virginie Houget, a hospital administrator.
“News from the Brinkwire.”