France Opinion

Emmanuel Macron, president of discord

The scale of protests across France this summer against the policies being deployed to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic is the price being paid by the head of state for his authoritarian, lying and irresponsible presidency, says Mediapart’s publishing editor Edwy Plenel in this op-ed article. Never, he argues, has the issue of democracy been so relevant - and so urgent.

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Just as it was at the start of the 'yellow vest' protests that swept France in the second half of 2018, it's easy to come up with lots of good reasons to distance yourself from the protests against Covid health policies that have reached unprecedented levels for the middle of a French summer (see reports here and here). Medical practitioners, politicians, intellectuals, academics, editorialists etc; entrenched in their own convictions and rightfulness, those who have – or who think they have – knowledge and experience find it easy to scorn the confusion that reigns in those protests, to condemn the ignorance which proliferates there, and to attack the conspiracy theories spreading through them, all of it creating fertile ground for the most odious of far-right ideas, including anti-Semitism.

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