Wednesday, January 20

“France is not an authoritarian state”: Macron explains himself at length and defends his record

It’s a small break in Emmanuel Macron’s communication strategy. In recent weeks, the Elysee has theorized the benefit for the Head of State to be rarer in his speeches, by focusing more on the international and official commemorations. “Everyone is in their place”, it was claimed, with a president above the fray and a government in daily action on the crisis front. But the pressure had become too great. After two weeks of heated controversy around police violence, which caused a serious crisis at the top of the State, the President of the Republic was forced to plunge his hands back into the sludge.

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In an interview ” uncompromising “, as he himself recognized, Emmanuel Macron answered questions from Brut, a video site popular with young people, on Friday, December 4. Secularism, Erdogan’s Turkey, health crisis … Asked for more than two hours on many subjects, the tenant of the Elysee has tried to demine the attacks against the executive, in the face of biting journalists, not hesitating to cut him off and start him again. Most often on the defensive, Mr. Macron has shown an insatiable desire to ” to convince ” his opponents on each theme, not hesitating to detail his arguments at length. An exchange with the false air of “great debate”, the exercise which had succeeded for the Head of State after the crisis of “yellow vests”.

This was particularly the case with police violence. The head of state rejected the attacks by the opposition, which accuses him of “Liberticidal drifts”. “In France, freedoms are reduced to face the epidemic, yes, but on other subjects, I cannot let that be said”, he said. Before hammering: “France is not an authoritarian state. We are not Hungary or Turkey! “

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Faced with journalist Rémy Buisine, recently struck down by the police during the violent evacuation of a migrant camp in Paris, Mr. Macron refused a Manichean presentation, which would like to make the police the sole culprit . He preferred to send back to back the perpetrators of violence, whoever they are, judging that we cannot “Not just have a look”. Certainly, “There are police officers who are violent” and “That must be sanctioned” so “Relentless”, he said, referring in particular to the assault of a black producer by several police officers in Paris. But he also denounced the violence committed by “Wild people” – a controversial term used by the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin – against the police. For example, he was moved by the lynching of a policewoman “Attacked by madmen”, during the demonstration against the text of the law “global security”, Saturday November 28 in Paris. Advocating appeasement, Emmanuel Macron felt that there had to be “Zero tolerance on both sides”.

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