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.
Nationwide protests against the introduction as of Monday in France of the requirement to carry a 'health pass' showing that a person has no coronavirus infection, or has had a double Covid jab, when entering public venues or before boarding trains and planes drew around 237,000 people, according to official estimates.
Provence and the Riviera in south-east France, along with the Mediterranean island of Corsica, all highly popular summer destinations for tourists, have declared emergency measures to deal with a surge in hospital admissions of Covid-19 cases, with medical staff reporting that the patient age-groups are notably younger than previously seen.
French pharmaceutical group Sanofi has announced it is buying US firm Translate Bio, with which it has been working to develop an mRNA Covid jab, for 3.2 billion dollars, as it attempts to make up lost ground in the colossal market for Covid jabs.
In a social media address to persuade the young to sign up for Covid-19 vaccinations, French President Emmanuel Macron sported a relaxed dress style, but the logo on his T-shirt has prompted speculation among some that it was a secret message.
More than 200,000 people, according to official figures, took part in marches around France this weekend protesting against recently introduced measures which require a person to carry a health pass showing they are free of coronavirus infection or vaccinated before entering a wide range of public venues.
France has described a decision to impose quarantine isolation on all travellers arriving in England from France - and unlike from other EU countries - as excessive, discriminatory and 'scientifically unfounded'.
French President Emmanuel Macron has launched a lawsuit over a billboard poster campaign in the town of Toulon, southern France, in which he appears as Adolf Hitler with an accompanying caption that reads 'Obey. Get vaccinated'.
In new measures to to tackle the coronavirus epidemic, the French parliament has approved legislation that will require people to present a health pass for access to restaurants, bars, trains and planes from the beginning of August, and which also requires frontline healthcare staff to be vaccinated by mid-September.
On Monday July 12th President Emmanuel Macron announced that all healthcare workers in France will have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 by September 15th. He also hinted that if the Delta variant of the disease takes hold and not enough of the public get a jab then this obligation could be extended to the whole population. The announcement has had a mixed reaction among some healthcare staff. The president's words have also sparked a wider debate about the ethics of mandatory vaccination and highlighted some glaring weaknesses in French public health policy since the start of the Covid epidemic. Rémi Yang, Mathilde Goanec, Jérôme Hourdeaux and Donatien Huet report.
The French president addressed the nation on the evening of Monday July 12th to announce that all health workers will have to get a Covid vaccination between now and September 15th. In addition, Emmanuel Macron said that citizens will soon require a Covid pass or 'passport' for many social activities; for cinemas from July 21st and for bars and restaurants from the start of August, as well as for train journeys and longer coach trips. At the same time the president took the opportunity to praise his own track record as head of state before and during the Covid crisis and to set out some potentially controversial reforms just months ahead of next April's presidential election. Ellen Salvi reports on the president's latest televised address.
by Ellen Salvi
Directeur de la publication : Edwy Plenel
Direction éditoriale : Stéphane Alliès et Carine Fouteau
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