Political opponents of French President Emmanuel Macron have strongly criticized his statements about unvaccinated Frenchmen. The head of state has told Le Parisien newspaper that he wants to make life miserable for those compatriots “until the end”. “That’s the strategy.”
In France, with a population of 67 million, about 5 million people have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus. The president wants to restrict the daily life of unvaccinated people, including by denying them access to restaurants, theatres and cinemas.
Macron’s political rivals reacted annoyed by the interview. Marine Le Pen of the right-wing Rassemblement National accused the president of creating “second-class citizens”. The far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon spoke of “disgusting” statements, and Damien Abad of Les Républicains said the president displayed “childish cynicism”.
The uproar comes at a sensitive time. The government is trying to push new legislation through parliament that will require a vaccination certificate for restaurant and cafe visits, events and public transport over longer distances. A negative test certificate will then no longer suffice from 15 January to enter many places.
However, the debate in parliament on the legislation is difficult and has been shut down on several occasions. The debate continues on Wednesday afternoon.