World News: Macron and The National Health Crisis

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The cascading health crisis throughout Europe has pushed French President Emmanuel Macron to opt for drastic measures contested by many local elected officials at the risk of cutting itself off from the territories is today very real.

The tightening of the curfew in certain French departments wanted and decided by the executive did not fail to provoke numerous reactions, often hostile, from local elected officials. Hostile at first because totally disconnected, according to the elected officials in question, from the economic realities of the territories where this hardening applies.

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Advance to 6 p.m., many city councilors fear a violent and lasting effect, especially on so-called local shops. The argument oh so valid and heard in this period of pandemic which spares nothing economic life did not seem to move the executive.

Hostile in the second place because this hardening, imposed without prior consultation, was, in fact, freed from the opinion of elected officials who, at the very least, would have liked to be questioned on the relevance of such a decision when several of between them called for a new containment, at least local.

Cut and Jupiterian

The ire of elected officials could stop there and ultimately generate no additional reaction to the health situation, which we do not know how it will develop in the coming weeks even if the outlines are emerging.

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However, behind this tightening of the curfew, there is also the risk of seeing the executive cut off not only from potentially useful elected representatives a few months before the presidential election by unilateral decisions but also, and above all, of witness a slow, but increasingly visible, inclination towards authoritarianism.

Not that the institutions of the Republic are threatened by it, far from it, but the territorial relays, here the mayors, represented by the elected officials occupy a special place in the French administrative layer. This bland authoritarianism, sometimes hidden under the necessity that would be, according to the adage, established in law, is not however the result of the pandemic and the decisions that the executive had to take to stop it.

The five-year term of Emmanuel Macron is marked by this form of dictated and asserted will in no way hesitating to free himself from the opinion of the first concerned. The example of the reform of high schools led by the Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, illustrates this tendency where the debate, when it is proposed, is easily ignored. or simply ignored.

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The Covid-19 crisis, which certainly calls for heavy decisions, served to express this Jupiterian will that the Elysee interprets as a severe and effective handling of the situation.

Opinion and Scruples

Certainly, some will argue that the health situation requires drastic measures which do not have the hurry to satisfy the first concerned, but for all that, in a Republic presented as democratic, dialogue arises as a preliminary to any decision involving the lives of citizens.

Once again, nothing proves that a preliminary dialogue would have avoided or changed the decisions taken, but in a democracy like France where principles and values ​​are set up as cardinal values, underlying the Constitution, this same dialogue would certainly have made it possible to betray a Jacobinism which the country is struggling to shake.

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To cut itself off from local elected officials therefore remains a daring and dangerous gamble, exposing the executive, which is in great difficulty in public opinion, to a feeling of rejection with certain consequences but to be measured. But at the same time, the health crisis marked in the spring by the infancy of the executive in view of the suddenness of the pandemic, may prove to be very useful to the executive, which can thus demonstrate the full extent of his authority and his ability to face reality by cutting and slicing the quick without the slightest scruple.

Let us repeat the bet is daring and only the future will tell the President of the Republic if this attitude will win the approval of the French because, it is a certainty, the presidential election will be played on the capacity of Emmanuel Macron to give to the country sufficient grounds for hope and economic results commensurate with the sacrifices requested.




Bio: Olivier Longhi has extensive experience in European history. A seasoned journalist with fifteen years of experience, he is currently professor of history and geography in the Toulouse region of France. He has held a variety of publishing positions, including Head of Agency and Chief of Publishing. A journalist, recognized blogger, editor, and editorial project manager, he has trained and managed editorial teams, worked as a journalist for various local radio stations, a press and publishing consultant, and a communications consultant.

Photo Credit: Olivier Longhi

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