Coronavirus: Macron's War

Audio 02:21

French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the nation on March 16, 2020 to announce new measures to limit the spread of the AFP / Ludovic Marin coronavirus epidemic

By: Valérie Gas Follow

Since March 17, France has been confined. Faced with the coronavirus epidemic, Emmanuel Macron asked the French to stay at home ... But, the Head of State wants to go to the front of what he called a "war".


From Bobigny hospital to Mulhouse hospital, since the coronavirus spread in France, Emmanuel Macron has been trying to embody the fight against the epidemic by increasing the number of trips to show the French that he is on the front lines in this " war ”. An adviser to the Head of State explains that Emmanuel Macron is not a " president in avoidance ", that he wants "to be in permanent contact ".

And being in constant contact also means talking to the French. Emmanuel Macron has never expressed himself so solemnly on television. These speeches serve him to try to mobilize the French so that they make a " block " behind him. Emmanuel Macron seeks national unity.

Does this strategy work?

The will of the President of the Republic to run for war chief is not criticized in itself. " It is in its role ", recognizes a deputy of the left opposition. But the management of the health emergency is beginning to be criticized. A member of the majority regrets that the " messages from the government are not clear enough " on the confinement or the shortage of masks. He explains: " They wanted to get us used to the lack of masks ", rather than saying: " We don't have enough masks ". While acknowledging that " it's easy to criticize from your living room ".

To avoid criticism precisely, Emmanuel Macron relies on the recommendations of scientists

He consults with doctors, experts, etc. This method has two objectives. First, show that decisions have a scientific, not just a political, foundation and are driven by the public interest. Then, it also allows the president to show that he decides collegially, he who has often been accused of exercising a solitary and vertical power. However, Emmanuel Macron does not want to suggest that it is science that governs. " The experts suggest and dispose of it, " explains one of his advisers.

And in the opposition, we are not mistaken. Managing this crisis, Emmanuel Macron will have to take responsibility for it " when the time comes ". As he will have to keep his commitments for the post-coronavirus. For example, that of making “ rupture decisions ” in the months following the end of the epidemic, announced from his first speech. As if the president had felt that this crisis could mark the rocking of the quinquennium, the real beginning of Act II, from which " nothing will be as before " ... A socialist anticipates the political tactics of the president and decides: " I do not believe that Emmanuel Macron can be the alternative to Emmanuel Macron ”.

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  • Coronavirus
  • French politics
  • Emmanuel Macron