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Vaccination, recovery, security: back on all fronts for Emmanuel Macron


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French President Emmanuel Macron and his government are preparing a return to all-out initiatives, with the hope of finally starting to turn the page on Covid-19. With the 2022 presidential election in the background.

The Head of State meets, Wednesday, August 25, first a “Restricted Defense and National Security Council” in the context of the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, then the now usual Covid-19 Defense Council, and finally the Council of Ministers. Emmanuel Macron will then go to the front line to unfold four weeks of key themes, on condition that the health crisis confirms its improvement and that the start of the school year does not see a proliferation of clusters and anti-health and anti-vaccination events.

Prerequisite hoped: to reach 50 million first-time vaccinated by August 31, “a decisive step”, according to Gabriel Attal, spokesman for the government. As of August 24, there were 47.6 million French people first vaccinated, and 41.6 million French with a complete vaccination schedule. September will also see the extension of the health pass to 12-17 year olds, a vaccination campaign for pupils and students and the entry into force of compulsory vaccination for caregivers and a series of other professions.

Eight months before the first round of the 2022 presidential election, the executive is showing a cautious renewed optimism, fueled by the decline in unemployment to its pre-Covid level and a growth forecast of 6%. The popularity of the President of the Republic also climbed to 41% in August, according to an Ifop poll, significantly higher than that of his predecessors at the same stage of their mandates.

A great “Marseille plan” awaited

The first stage of the start of the school year will be a social summit on September 2 in Matignon, where the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, will receive in turn the leaders of the unions and the employers. On the menu, the pension reform, for the moment at a standstill, and the reform of unemployment insurance, which Emmanuel Macron wants to apply from October 1. The head of government will make his media return Thursday August 26 on RTL, then in the new program of Laurent Ruquier and Léa Salamé on Saturday September 4 on France 2.

Next week, Emmanuel Macron should go to Marseille, in the company of several ministers, to announce a major “Marseille plan”, interministerial, relating in particular to questions of security, urban renewal, housing and education, including renovation of schools. This initiative also aims to respond to the violence that shakes the city of Marseille, where the settling of scores is increasing in neighborhoods affected by drug trafficking. During the last weekend of August 21-22, three more men known for drug trafficking were killed. On August 18, a 14-year-old boy was shot dead with an assault rifle.

The president will attend the World Congress of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Marseille, the opportunity to talk about ecology.

Economic recovery and security, other major themes

The week of September 6 will be devoted to economic recovery, with the presentation of the “France 2030” plan. This is a new plan of 20 billion long-term investments, which will be added to the 100 billion already announced. The government is also preparing aid measures for the self-employed, artisans and self-employed people, the least helped during the crisis.

Emmanuel Macron should, the following week, himself close the Beauvau of security, a vast consultation on the police, ranging from the scheme of law enforcement to criminal responses, through the means of action and internal controls. The presidential election now in sight, Emmanuel Macron does not intend to be placed on the defensive on the regal, in particular security and immigration, the main angle of attack of the right and of the National Rally.

The last week of September should finally see him present the “engagement income” for young people, which he announced on July 12. Aimed at young people who are unemployed or without training, i.e. more than a million people, this system should include individualized support and an income of around 500 euros, provided that the young person undertakes to follow a path of integration.

The executive is thus preparing to occupy the field by action at a time when, in all political currents, the contenders for the Elysee are asserting themselves. This will be the case in particular this weekend through the back-to-school meetings of several parties or candidates, in particular the PS, La France Insoumise or Les Républicains.

With AFP


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