Sunday, May 22

Presidential: White sunburnt by Ibiza, Montebourg eclipses

He regrets “the “symbolic”: Jean-Michel Blanquer made amends on Tuesday for having spent his holidays in Ibiza while the health protocol was being decided in schools, a new test for the majority in view of the presidential election in which Arnaud Montebourg will definitely give up.

“It turns out that the place I chose, I should probably have chosen another. The symbolism, I regret it”, launched the Minister of National Education during questions to the government in the Assembly .

He admitted in the evening on TF1 “perhaps a bit of a mistake”, adding however refusing to serve as a “scapegoat” for his detractors. He pointed out that having defended “the open school” had exposed him to “a lot of adversity.

Since Monday evening, the opposition has deplored “a disastrous image” after Mediapart’s revelations about Mr. Blanquer’s vacation just before the start of the school year.

Five days only after the massive mobilization of teachers, the case falls badly for the majority with the approach of the presidential election, especially since it has made education one of the main markers of its five-year term.

Prime Minister Jean Castex came to the defense of his minister, believing that the state apparatus had “worked”. But support is far from unanimous within the presidential majority.

Traveling, in the midst of a health crisis and when announcing a new controversial protocol in schools, to an island associated with partying and the jet-set, “is not the smartest thing in the world, when ‘He has one of the biggest balance sheets in five years,’ sighs a member of the government.

“The problem is Ibiza: in our unconscious we imagine it at the controls (of a turntable) and dancing”, criticizes a majority executive.

According to a source within the executive corroborating information from Politico, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Nicolas Revel, had advised Mr. Blanquer against going to the Balearic Islands in view of the context.

Could the episode seal Mr Blanquer’s fate as another strike looms on the horizon?

“It all depends on Thursday’s demonstration, the mobilization that will give the + the +”, replied Tuesday to AFP a source within the executive, also saying not to note “strong support from the government” to M Blanquer, yet close to Brigitte Macron.

The demonstration has not yet received authorization from the prefect of Paris, who invokes a declaration filed too late.

– Montebourg renounces –

On the left, LFI called for the resignation, in unison with the environmental candidate Yannick Jadot who denounces the “contempt” and the “irresponsibility” of the minister, when Anne Hidalgo prefers to attack Emmanuel Macron, according to her “responsible for this situation”.

On the right, the right-wing candidate Valérie Pécresse regretted “an ubiquitous protocol” and felt that “it would have been better to take a few days to consult”. However, she did not ask for the resignation of the minister, believing that “the subject is really what it says about the power in place” which she described as “authoritarian, solitary”.

Marine Le Pen mocked the minister’s “casualty”.

Could the controversy be eclipsed by the withdrawal of the day, that of Arnaud Montebourg? The cantor of the “remontada”, dropped in the polls, must announce Tuesday or Wednesday in a video that he is leaving the race for the Elysée, according to his relatives, without however joining one of his (ex- )competitors, after a campaign that never really took off.

– “Twins” –

The pataquès Blanquer comes inappropriately on the eve of the speech that Emmanuel Macron is to deliver on Wednesday before the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Wanted at the Elysée as one of the highlights of the French six-monthly presidency of the EU, but also of the future campaign of the Head of State with a view to his re-election, the speech also gives the opportunity to his opponents to take a position on this divisive subject.

Ecologist Yannick Jadot, MEP since 2019, will be in the Strasbourg hemicycle. Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Mélenchon presented their own vision of the EU on Tuesday.

The first castigated “the Macron-Pécresse twins”, “Europeanists” to whom she opposes her project “of a European alliance of nations”.

Valérie Pécresse was the first guest of a new political program on BFMTV, presented by Jean-Jacques Bourdin, targeted by an investigation for sexual assault. She made a point of stressing in the preamble that she respected the presumption of innocence but that if the facts were verified, they should be “condemned”.

bur-arz-pab-ib / dlm

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