Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, interviewed by videoconference by deputies on the coronavirus crisis in France, on April 1, 2020 on LCP. - AFP

  • If Edouard Philippe and the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, were in the National Assembly, the deputies who questioned them were often multiplexed from their home ... but with ties.
  • Elected officials of the majority for their part welcomed the action of the government while those of the opposition remained on their hunger.

Edouard Philippe faced the deputies to answer their questions on the coronavirus crisis. The Prime Minister did education vis-à-vis the elected officials on the progressive deconfinement of the French, the masks. "We do not know everything," immediately warned the head of government before the fact-finding mission of the National Assembly by videoconference. Before adding that the executive had to make decisions in this "unprecedented" crisis with information "sometimes incomplete and often contradictory".

Richard Ferrand (LREM), president of the National Assembly but also president and general rapporteur of this mission which precedes a future commission of inquiry, had previously warned that care should be taken “not to hinder the action of the executive in this phase of crisis ”. "The time for any legitimate questioning will come, but once the worst of the crisis is behind us", he added in front of Edouard Philippe and the Minister of Health Olivier Véran in a room in the Palais- Bourbon. The forty or so mission members and presidents of political groups were in multiplexes - an unprecedented format - often from their homes ... but with ties.

"I am very careful when I compare the figures"

"The exercise of [control] is essential," said the head of government, who complied for three hours and twenty minutes. To Richard Ferrand who questioned him about the future, Edouard Philippe replied that it was "probable" that "deconfinement" in France would not be done "all at once and for everyone" but probably by region, even by age groups.

But the deconfinement will be "linked to the ability to do tests", bounced the boss of the deputies LR Damien Abad, asking "how to catch up" French on Germany. "I am always very careful when I compare the figures," retorted the Prime Minister, wondering about the reality of the frequency of German tests and attracting protests from LR in return.

Attacks by LFI or LR deputies

Damien Abad praised a "responsible, active and determined" right, like the other opposition leaders who did not fire red bullets on government management but asked questions about the "shortage of masks", of "drugs", the needs of hospitals and retirement homes, and still the difficulties of businesses.

"What means of protection" for "employees who work", worried Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the rebellious, when Pierre Dharréville (PCF) asked for the nationalization of Famar (manufacturer of chloroquine) and Luxfer (bottles to medical oxygen). "How the Nation will correct its mistakes with regard to the hospital and carers," questioned David Habib (PS).

France has ordered "over a billion and a half masks in France and abroad," said Olivier Véran. "We have something to hold on to in the long term" in drugs but "must pay attention to the resource," said the Prime Minister.

The deputies were sometimes hungry, like Adrien Quatennens (LFI) who lamented on Twitter the lack of response on nationalizations or requisitions when "it's pragmatic", not "ideological". Cutting with the tone of the other speakers, Eric Ciotti (LR) regretted that the confinement was "badly respected in certain suburbs".

The time is not for a "mission of defiance"

For non-attached deputies, Joachim Son-Forget, doctor, put on the table the question of treatment with chloroquine, attracting the wrath of Olivier Véran for whom we need "a minimum of scientifically proven proof of its effectiveness "

Our file on the coronavirus

Unsurprisingly, the majority for its part welcomed the action of the government, Patrick Mignola (MoDem) stressing that the time was not for a "mission of mistrust". It is only after the post-epidemic “return to normal” that this mission will acquire the broad powers of a commission of inquiry. Its general rapporteur will then be a LR deputy, which "cuts short any debate on a lock-in", we observe at LREM, while the elected representatives of the right still reserve the possibility of opening their own commission of inquiry .

The broad field mission will meet every Wednesday or Thursday by videoconference, with the hearing of the Keeper of the Seals and the Minister of the Interior starting next week.


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  • Covid 19
  • Deputy
  • Edouard Philippe
  • Olivier Véran
  • Society
  • Coronavirus
  • Containment
  • National Assembly