'Merkel speaks to adults...Macron talks as if we're children'


In an interview with Mediapart, history lecturer Johann Chapoutot, an expert on contemporary Germany and the history of the Nazis, uses the example of Germany to highlight France's failings in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. He says that while the German chancellor Angela Merkel appeals to people's reason, in France “they lie to us”. Interview by Ludovic Lamant.

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Johann Chapoutot is a lecturer in modern history at the Sorbonne University in Paris and a expert on Nazism. In this interview with Mediapart he highlights the failures of the French handling of the Covid-19 pandemic since January by contrasting it with that of Germany, a country he knows well. The academic notes how the German authorities have been “open” and appealed to citizens' reason, while the French government, which was facing “strong challenges from all directions” before the crisis, seems “preoccupied solely with itself and shoring up its own power”.