Christmas, shops, travel … Emmanuel Macron’s arbitration is expected this week on serious questions, while impatience rises for a reduction in the constraints imposed on the French to face the second wave of Covid-19.
The epidemic peak seems to have been crossed, the president promises to use his televised address on Tuesday at 8 p.m. to bring “clarity” and “a course” on the health crisis.
“Nothing is worse than uncertainty and the impression of endless gloom”, assures Emmanuel Macron to the Journal du Dimanche: “We need consistency, clarity, a course. Knowing together where we are going and how to get there”.
“It’s difficult, because the pandemic is inherently unpredictable and global,” he explains, “but it’s the key to trust, which itself is the key to success.”
According to Mr. Macron, “there is no inevitability. Crises can be, in the end, accelerators of progress. We must be at the rendezvous of history. And France has all the assets for it. ‘be”.
As at every stage since the first confinement in March, the Head of State will have to decide by striving to reconcile the imperatives of health protection and those of the economy, not to mention the morale of the population increasingly affected by long months of “normal” life put in parentheses.
And if the executive has said and repeated in recent days that deconfinement was excluded at this stage, Emmanuel Macron is preparing to loosen the screw on Tuesday.
The “flexibilities (…) will be carried out in three stages with regard to health trends and the risks associated with certain activities: first around December 1, then before the end of year holidays, then from January 2021, “government spokesman Gabriel Attal told JDD.
Asked about the Christmas holidays to the RTL-Le Figaro-LCI Grand Jury, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian called for a distinction to be made between “the question of wish and the question of reality”.
“If by chance the evolution is positive, so much the better, and at that time I think there will be measures that will be taken. There will be a second series of decisions that will be taken around December 20”, he continued.
In the immediate future, the reopening of shops “around December 1” is almost a given, with appropriate protocols. But “some establishments, such as bars and restaurants, will continue to experience restrictions,” said Gabriel Attal. In addition, the travel certificate will remain in force.
What about cinemas and theaters, gyms, ski resorts?
The interventions of these sectors have multiplied in recent days to draw the attention of the executive to their difficulties, while the criticism of the oppositions was mounting.
“There is an obligation to think of alternatives to confinement as a method”, while “the government never takes a step ahead”, attacked France 3 Jean-Luc Mélenchon, candidate of the rebels for the presidential election of 2022 .
Jordan Bardella (RN) also judged on France Inter that there had been “a major lack of anticipation during this crisis”. Asking to “get out of this totalitarian absurdity”, he however said he was satisfied that we “finally show common sense, flexibility, and allow a recovery.”
Guest of Europe 1-Les Echos-CNEWS, the former socialist minister Arnaud Montebourg pointed out “problems of misery which arise in our country”, and underlined that Germany had had “four times less deaths with economic destruction which are half as important “.
After being received Friday by Prime Minister Jean Castex, opposition leaders expressed their impression – to complain about it – that everything was hanging on the lonely decision of the president, symbolized by the “health defense councils” that ‘he now chairs every week.
A posture that does not harm Emmanuel Macron for the moment, whose popularity is increasing in a series of polls.
The head of state, who has explained since the start of the school year that it will be necessary to learn to live sustainably with the coronavirus, should also outline his vaccine strategy on Tuesday.
According to Gabriel Attal, France has already signed three contracts with laboratories, has “at least three others very advanced, and others in discussion”, with “on average 30 million doses per contract”.
Nearly 300 Covid-19 patients have died in the past 24 hours, but the number of intensive care patients continues to decline for the 5th consecutive day, according to official statistics released on Saturday. More than 48,500 people in France have died from the coronavirus since the start of the epidemic.