Macron is likely to be re-elected says professor
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The French President said on Tuesday he wanted to “piss off” the non-vaccinated, in a cutting remark that prompted howls of condemnation from opposition rivals less than four months before the next presidential election.
Speaking to French daily Le Parisien, Mr Macron said: “The unvaccinated, I really want to p*** them off.
“And so, we’re going to continue doing so, until the end. That’s the strategy.”
France last year put in place a health pass that prevents people without a PCR test or proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, cafes and other venues.
The government wants to turn it into a vaccine passport that means only the vaccinated can have a health pass.
Mr Macron continued: “I won’t send (the unvaccinated) to prison, I won’t vaccinate by force.
“So we need to tell them, from January 15, you won’t be able to go to the restaurant anymore, you won’t be able to down one, won’t be able to have a coffee, go to the theatre, the cinema…”
The expression “emmerder”, from “merde”, that can also be translated as “to get on their nerves”, is considered “very informal” by French dictionary Larousse and prompted immediate criticism by rivals on social media.
The French President has been criticised in the past for off-the-cuff remarks which many French people said came across as arrogant, cutting or scornful.
He has later expressed contrition on several occasions.
Far right leader Marine Le Pen said on Twitter: “A president shouldn’t say that.
“Emmanuel Macron is unworthy of his office.”
The comments also sparked the fury of French MPs in the lower house of parliament, who once again suspended debates over the proposed new regulations.
Review of the new law, which would remove the option of showing a negative test result instead of having the inoculations, will resume at 1400 GMT on Wednesday, the National Assembly said on its website the legislation has faced fierce resistance from anti-vaccination campaigners, as well as far-right and far-left groups.
Tense discussions in parliament on the new law were halted for a first time Monday after midnight. A majority of deputies voted to suspend the session.
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Pro-government lawmakers were caught by surprise, and were not present in the chamber in sufficient numbers to block the motion.
In the detailed interview, President Macron’s first in the new year, he also said he had a good mind to run for re-election in April, but did not explicitly announce his intention to run.
He said: “I would like to do it.”
As the clear favourite in the polls, Mr Macron has not yet officially said he was running, although his lieutenants are already preparing a campaign.
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