Friday, January 21

Vaccine pass: debates suspended again in the National Assembly after Emmanuel Macron’s remarks on the unvaccinated

The National Assembly was very agitated, on the night of January 4 to 5. The examination of the bill on the vaccine pass was disrupted by the publication of an interview with Emmanuel Macron saying he wanted to “piss off” the unvaccinated. Opposition elected officials expressed their anger until the debates were suspended.

Denouncing “unworthy words” and “insulting”, these deputies have multiplied the suspensions of sessions and requests for reminder of the rules. Some even demanded, in vain, the arrival of the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, to explain the line of the executive after the speech of Emmanuel Macron.

In an interview with Le Parisien, the President of the Republic declared: “The unvaccinated, I really want to piss them off. And so we will continue to do so, until the end. This is the strategy. […] When my freedom threatens that of others, I become irresponsible. An irresponsible person is no longer a citizen. ”

Words against which the opposition has almost unanimously stood up. Damien Abad, boss of the deputies Les Républicains (LR), deplored the “childish cynicism” of the head of state, while Mathilde Panot, president of the group La France Insoumise (LFI), compared the establishment of the vaccine pass project to a form of “forfeiture of citizenship”. Ugo Bernalicis (LFI) qualified Emmanuel Macron as “presidential monarch” and Christian Jacob, president of the Republicans, refused to “support a text that aims to piss off the French”.

As a member of the government, the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, tried to defend the words of the president, arguing that “the evil which is gnawing our country, it is a vaccination which, although important, remains insufficient” , with “millions” of unvaccinated.

The previous night already agitated

This is the second time that the examination of the bill on the vaccination pass has been suspended. At the beginning of the evening, the deputies congratulated themselves on having reached an agreement on the thorny question of the vaccination pass for minors, postponed from 12 to 16 years for school trips and peri and extracurricular activities, but not for private activities like going to a restaurant.

But, shortly after, a surprise vote had temporarily suspended work on this text, elected officials refusing to continue examining the text overnight. The government then accused the opposition, in particular the elected LR representatives, of seeking to make a political “coup” without regard to the seriousness of the health crisis.

For their part, the oppositions had rather underlined the inability of the majority to be present in sufficient numbers in the hemicycle to avoid this “snub”. Symptom, according to these elected officials, of the lack of a real desire for dialogue on the part of the government.

Despite these various twists and turns, the executive is still targeting January 15 as the date of entry into force of the vaccination pass, with final adoption of the bill at the end of the week or the beginning of next week. A sizeable challenge, knowing that no less than 450 amendments remain on the menu for this first reading at the Palais Bourbon.

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