Macron has been accused of using divisive and vulgar language after he used a slang term to say that making life difficult for people who haven’t been vaccinated is what he wants to do.
Macron, who has declared his willingness to run for re-election in April’s presidential race but has yet to formally announce his campaign, used the vulgar French phrase “emmerder” (meaning to rile or bug) in an interview with the Le Parisien daily, which was published online.
Instead of “vaccinate by force” he said, he would be “limiting as much as possible their access to activities in social life” to urge the unvaccinated minority to be vaccinated.
Many said his words were not good enough for a president to say three months before the election. However, MPs put a law barring the unvaccinated from much of public life on hold.
There is a chance that the legislation will be passed this week. It has angered people who don’t like vaccines, and some French MPs say they have received death threats because of it.
The National Assembly session was put on hold for the second night in a row on Tuesday, Jan. 4, because opposition members were unhappy with the president’s language. One of them called it “unworthy, irresponsible and premeditated.”
Starting next month, some European countries are making it mandatory for people over 14 to get a vaccine. Germany plans to do the same for adults. People over the age of 60 might have to get a vaccine pass from Italy’s government on Wednesday.
It is not right for a president to say this.
French newspaper Le Parisien interviewed Mr. Macron on Tuesday, and in his answer, he used the word “emmerder.” This is a word that means “to stir up.” As a way to get people to get the vaccines, he said he wouldn’t “vaccinate by force” the last five million people who hadn’t had a dose. Instead, he would try to “limit as much as possible their access to activities in social life.”
Asked whether he would put people who haven’t been vaccinated in prison, Macron said, “No.” but then, we need to tell them that starting on Jan. 15, they can no longer go out to eat. Getting a cup of coffee will no longer be possible. They won’t be able to see a movie either.
Opposition leaders were very angry at Mr. Macron’s comments before the start of the presidential election campaign. He has not yet said whether or not he will run.
People who aren’t vaccinated don’t have the right to live in France, Valérie Pécresse, a Republican candidate, wondered.
Bruno Retailleau, a member of the party, said: “Emmanuel Macron says he has learned to love the French, but it seems he especially likes to despise them.”
Marine Le Pen tweeted: “A president shouldn’t say that… Emmanuel Macron is unworthy of his office.”
It’s clear, the vaccination pass is a collective punishment against individual freedom,” said Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a politician in France. “It’s an astonishing confession.”