Keyword: Emmanuel Macron

Macron prolongs lockdown into May, admits France was unprepared

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Monday that the current national lockdown on public movement to contain the Covid-19 virus epidemic has been extended to May 11th, after which he forecast a gradual return to activity, while he also admitted that France had been insufficiently prepared for the health crisis.   

Proof of French government's lies over shortages of protective masks

President Emmanuel Macron during a visit to a Covid-19 field hospital at Mulhouse in eastern France on March 25th 2020. © AFP President Emmanuel Macron during a visit to a Covid-19 field hospital at Mulhouse in eastern France on March 25th 2020. © AFP

An investigation by Mediapart has revealed the chaotic management at the highest levels of the French state over the crucial issue of providing protective masks to help tackle the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Our probe, which has analysed the situation since January and is based on numerous witness accounts and documentary evidence, highlights the hidden shortages, the unreliable health instructions, the neglected offers of help with importing masks, the continuing shortage of stocks and the way that some companies have been favoured. It also reveals the lies that have accompanied this mismanagement. Meanwhile hundreds of nurses have become infected with the virus. Yann Philippin, Antton Rouget and Marine Turchi report.

French firms join forces to make 10,000 ventilators in 50 days

Consortium led by Air Liquide will help boost production of critical medical kit as President Emmanuel Macron promises to ramp up production of critical medical equipment to treat coronavirus.

French government's failings magnified by Covid-19 epidemic

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In the front line: President Emmanuel Macron has donned the mantle of a wartime leader. © AFP In the front line: President Emmanuel Macron has donned the mantle of a wartime leader. © AFP

The French government's public utterances during the coronavirus crisis have cruelly exposed its shortcomings, its method of thinking and the extent to which it is out of touch with events on the ground. There have been contradictory instructions, a slowness to express gratitude to those tackling the crisis on the front line, and great emphasis on the country being “at war”. Inside the government, writes Mediapart political journalist Ellen Salvi, some are worried about the image the executive is giving of itself during the crisis.

Macron says France is there for Italy, Europe must not be 'selfish'

French president pointed out that France and Germany have delivered 2 million masks and tens of thousands gowns to Italy.

French military to join virus fight in France as death toll grows

President Emmanuel Macron said the military operation, named 'Resilience', will focus on "aiding and supporting the population, as well as helping public services face the epidemic in mainland France and overseas".

Macron announces lockdown of population to slow virus spread

In a televised address on Monday evening French President Emmanuel Macron announced a lockdown of the population, initially for a 15-day period, restricting all but non-essential movements of people outside of their homes in an effort to contain the Covid-19 coronvitrus outbeak, while also postponing the second round of municipal elections due next weekend. 

Macron ramps up anti-virus measures in 'worst health crisis in century'

In a televised speech to the nation on Thursday evening, French President Emmanuel Macron described the novel coronavirus outbreak as the "worst" health crisis the country has faced for 100 years and announced new measures to conatin the epidemic, notably an indefinite shutdown of all educational establishments from next Monday, while urging people aged over 70 to stay at home, but he stopped short of cancelling the nationwide municipal elections due to begin on Sunday. 

Macron greets Spanish king with coronavirus-safe namaste

Welcoming Spain’s king and queen to the Elysée Palace on Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron, observing official recommendations to the public to avoid shaking hands amid the coronavirus outbreak, welcomed the pair with a namaste, the gesture of pressing together the palms and bowing as is the custom in India.

Move to force through pension reform set to deal big blow to Macron presidency

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A protest against President Macron's pension reforms at Rennes in west France on December 10th 2019. © AFP A protest against President Macron's pension reforms at Rennes in west France on December 10th 2019. © AFP

On Saturday February 29th, during an emergency meeting of ministers called to discuss the Coronavirus crisis, the French government took the decision to force its bitterly-opposed pension reforms through Parliament without a vote. In adopting the “nuclear option” of invoking Article 49-3 of the French Constitution to do this, President Emmanuel Macron is hoping that public debate will now shift to other issues. But as Ellen Salvi writes, the move is likely to plunge the remaining two years of his presidency into greater political uncertainty and even undermine his chances of re-election in 2022.

Art for sale: how Saudi Arabia is buying French culture

By Antoine Pecqueur
View of the ancient town of Al Ula in Medina province. View of the ancient town of Al Ula in Medina province.

Saudi Arabia has forged a major partnership with France to develop the huge site of Al Ula in the north-west of the country, an ancient area which is set to become a major tourist and cultural attraction. An exhibition about Al Ula is running at the Arab World Institute in Paris until March 8th. As Antoine Pecqueur reports, culture is becoming a geopolitical Trojan Horse for the Saudi Kingdom as it seeks to boost its international standing, with France as one of its key partners. Meanwhile French businesses are queuing up to get involved.

Macron aims to combat 'foreign interference' in how Islam is practiced

French president said in a speech: 'The problem is when in the name of a religion, some want to separate themselves from the Republic and therefore not respect its laws.'

Macron urges EU to renew dialogue with Russia

French President Emmanuel Macron, speaking in Germany on the second day of the Munich Security Conference, said sancions slapped on Russia by the European Union for its actions in Ukraine had changed 'absolutely nothing' and, while not proposing their lifting, urged what he said was a more 'credible' approach of re-engaging 'in a strategic dialogue'.

Macron ally quits Paris mayoral bid over sex videos

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Benjamin Griveaux announcing he was stepping down from the Paris mayoral elections, February 14th. © Lionel Bonaventure / AFP Benjamin Griveaux announcing he was stepping down from the Paris mayoral elections, February 14th. © Lionel Bonaventure / AFP

Benjamin Griveaux, 42, the candidate for mayor of Paris chosen by President Emmanuel Macron’s LREM party, stood down from the race on Friday after the online publication by a controversial Russian artist living in asylum in France of sexually explicit videos featuring the former government spokesman. Griveaux’s withdrawal is a major blow for the French president’s ruling party, already struggling in opinion surveys ahead of nationwide municipal elections in March.

Macron kicks off climate measures with visit to shrinking Alps glacier

After a government 'environmental defence council' meeting at which the French government announced a series of measures to combat climate change and protect bio-diversity, President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday visited a vast, shrinking glacier at the foot of the Mont Blanc where he said its melting 'is irrefutable proof of global warming'.