The Minister of Health Olivier Véran defended on Saturday before the National Assembly the extension until February 16 of the state of health emergency against the deputies.

The survival of this exceptional regime gave rise to lively discussions.

While 54 departments are now subject to a curfew in the face of Covid-19, many wonder if this measure is a prerequisite for new restrictions.

Saturday morning, the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, came to ask the National Assembly for an extension of the state of health emergency until April 1, to face a "period which will be long and difficult".

The debates with the deputies were particularly lively.


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"Attacks on freedoms"

"I ask you, on behalf of the government, to vote for this text which is not a text of conviction but a text of responsibility to enable us to actively protect the French," declared Olivier Véran.

The text should make it possible to very broadly empower the government to sign ordinances in the areas of labor law, the functioning of administrations and even communities, as last spring.

The LR group defended a motion of preliminary rejection, against a "state of exception, which trivializes attacks on freedoms".

The deputy LR Antoine Savignat thus replied to the Minister of Health: "Today we are plunging back violently into the crisis even though you had a mandate to do everything necessary to get out of it. On the strength of this failure of crisis management you come today in conditions of absolute panic to ask us once again to trust you for the management of this crisis ".

Scalded by critics

"If you have proposals to make to protect the lives of the French, I am listening to you and I will always be," retorted the minister, a bit ironic but visibly scalded by the criticisms of right-wing deputies, supported in their motion from left to left.

Above all, he was indignant at the content of the discussions in the hemicycle: "It's totally critical, 100% ... We did nothing good, we did not protect the French, we did not 'did not prepare the hospitals. If I were a caregiver and I listened to these debates I would say to myself that we are very very bad. " 


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At the end of the morning, the deputies, all masked, voted by show of hands on article 1 of the bill which extends until February 16 the application of the health emergency.

It may, however, be lifted in advance in the event of an improvement in the situation.

The bill will be on the menu of the Senate from Wednesday and should be definitively adopted in early November.