14.07.2021 – 08:59
With an eye on maintaining his chances of re-election next year, French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday tried to stimulate his compatriots and wives to get the coronavirus vaccine given the near-fourth wave threatening France.
Macron has not yet officially stated that he is running in next year’s presidential election, but his televised address to the nation had all the hallmarks.
He defended himself, constantly recalling all the ways in which he kept his promises – including “improving purchasing power and cutting taxes” – and setting his own schedule for the remaining months of his term.
His speech was also an implied acknowledgment that his re-election bid would continue to be threatened, or at least overshadowed, by the coronavirus pandemic.
A new wave could seriously hamper economic recovery and hinder his chances of winning, and so he announced new health measures to increase vaccination figures, including making vaccines mandatory for some or a negative test for going to restaurants or for train trips.
But the introduction focused on defining three topics for the rest of his term – focusing on economic recovery, reforms and social welfare.
Unlike his previous seven speeches since the beginning of the pandemic, which Macron delivered from the presidential palace, this time, he had the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop.
This was meant to signal “hope” and “a new way forward”, according to an adviser to the president.
“Our challenge is to become a nation of research, innovation, agriculture and industry again,” Macron said in outlining his plan for economic recovery.
He also signaled how he plans to use France’s EU presidency to further push for strategic autonomy.
“At the European level, the French presidency of the European Union, which will begin on January 1, 2022, will allow us to build a common agenda of industrial and technological independence,” Macron said.
He ended his speech with what looked like the beginnings of a campaign speech.
“To build an independent France… an invading France that believes in its youth and is not afraid of the future but instead creates it. “A united France,” said Macron.
Translated and adapted by Politico.eu/ konica.al