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French President Emmanuel Macron presents his New Year’s greetings on Friday, again against the backdrop of an epidemic recovery. An opportunity to highlight its results four months before the presidential election.
Emmanuel Macron presents, Friday, December 31, at 8 p.m. new wishes, the opportunity to highlight his results four months before the presidential election, despite a climate plagued by the outbreak of Covid-19 which is once again vampirizing the news.
A year ago, after ten months of epidemic, the Head of State launched, sitting next to a fireplace at the Elysee: “Hope is there”, an allusion to the beginnings of the vaccine campaign that he asked his government to speed up. He promised “a stronger economy” and “a new French morning”.
Since then, three successive waves have each time dampened the hope of a rapid exit from the crisis. In 2018 and 2019, it was in the light of two other violent shocks, that of the yellow vests and then of the contested pension reform that he sent his wishes for the New Year.
This time, for his last wishes for the five-year term, the Head of State, just back from his Var resort of Brégançon, will “list the challenges of the country for 2022, including the French presidency of the European Union (PFUE) and the management of the pandemic “, but also” to look with lucidity at the past months and with pragmatism at the months to come “, indicates the Elysee without details.
Whoever has not yet indicated whether he would run again in 2022 – which no one doubts – should thus defend his management of the health crisis and underline the good news on the front of the economy and employment.
Massively supported by the state, growth should reach 6.7% in 2021 then 3.6% for 2022, according to the Banque de France. Unemployment remains at its lowest since 2008, at 8.1%.
Several policy wishes presented on Friday
Emmanuel Macron’s opponents hastened, Friday, to present wishes with electoral accents. Against the backdrop of the French flag for Marine Le Pen, who hailed “a crucial year” by inviting the French to “run” the presidential election. Same setting for Eric Zemmour, who launched “farewell Emmanuel Macron”.
It is without a flag that the PS candidate, Anne Hidalgo, asked the French to follow with her “the path of courage and justice”.
Gérard Larcher, president of the Senate, wished in front of a pair of French and European flags to find for 2022 “cohesion, confidence and participation” during the presidential election of April.
The wishes of Valérie Pécresse and Yanick Jadot were also expected in the afternoon.
In plea, the Élysée posted on the networks Thursday a summary video of 2021, which mixes sporting and scientific exploits with presidential decisions and slogans. Positive and few medical images.
If no health announcement is expected – the wishes do not lend themselves to it -, the president could, on the other hand, evoke the presidential election, not to declare his candidacy but to ensure again its maintenance despite the Covid-19.
While January 1 will kick off the French presidency of the EU, Emmanuel Macron will recall his great ambitions for this semester which will allow him to push a few files. Even if the short deadline of this rotating presidency, largely formal, will not be enough.
Among its priorities are the creation of an investment budget in Europe, with modification of the Maastricht criteria, the protection of borders against illegal migrants as well as the establishment of a carbon tax for imports from outside the EU.
So many themes that can serve as a springboard for a future campaign.
Jean Castex with soldiers and firefighters
But Emmanuel Macron will have to capture the attention of particularly pessimistic French people, of whom only 17% think that 2022 will be better than 2021, according to an Odoxa poll carried out on the Internet on December 21 and 22.
Not only 85% predict the continuation of the health crisis but 60% a social movement of the yellow vests type. Health and purchasing power compete for the first place of their concerns.
However, Emmanuel Macron remains the favorite of the forecasts, since 53% see him reelected.
His Prime Minister will be on the ground Friday evening, with the military, at Cochin hospital and in a fire station, to show his support for caregivers and the police responsible for ensuring the safety of the New Year’s Eve and health restriction checks.