PARIS — With an eye fixed on preserving his possibilities for reelection next yr, French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday tried to incentivise his fellow countrymen and ladies to get the coronavirus vaccine given the approaching fourth wave threatening France.
Macron has not but formally declared he is standing in subsequent yr’s presidential election, however his televised handle to the nation had all of the markings of a pitch for reelection. He defended his document, repeatedly underlining all of the ways he has stored his guarantees — together with by “enhancing purchasing power and decreasing taxes” — and set out his program for the remaining months of his term.
His speech was also an implicit recognition that his reelection bid will proceed to be threatened, or at the very least overshadowed, by the coronavirus pandemic. A brand new wave might critically weaken the economic restoration and derail his probabilities of profitable, and so he kicked off his handle by announcing new health measures to boost the plateauing vaccination drive and attempt to limit its effects, together with making vaccines obligatory for some and requiring proof of vaccination or a unfavourable check to go to eating places or take practice rides.
However the thrust of the speech targeted on setting out three themes for the rest of his time period — centered on the economic restoration, reforms and social welfare — that cater to the motley crew of supporters he might want to secure a second time period: center-left and center-right voters with a thoughts for green issues.
The speech was high in symbolism, too. In contrast to his earlier seven speeches because the beginning of the pandemic, which Macron delivered from the presidential palace, this time around, he had the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop. That was meant to signal “hope” and “a brand new means forward,” in line with an adviser to the president.
“The challenge that's ours is to vary scales … to turn out to be once once more a nation of research, innovation, agriculture and business … to reconcile progress with green production,” Macron stated in laying out his plan for economic restoration.
He also signaled how he plans to make use of France’s presidency of the EU — which coincides with the final six months of his term and what would be the peak of the presidential campaign — to additional buttress his push for strategic autonomy, launched at the peak of the crisis when France was confronted with its crippling dependence on Chinese language production of masks and different vital protective gear.
“On the European degree, the French presidency of the European Union, which can start on January 1, 2022, will permit us to construct a standard agenda of commercial and technological independence,” Macron stated.
In signature Macron style, he straddled each left- and right-wing policies. He burdened fiscally conservative views on the need to reform the social welfare system by working and innovating extra and avoiding new taxation, while also emphasizing the need to help the unemployed, youth and seniors.
But in a notable punt, Macron promised to go forward with a long-postponed and highly controversial pension reform, whereas additionally making that transfer conditional on the pandemic subsiding and progress choosing up again.
He ended his handle with what sounded like the beginnings of a marketing campaign speech.
“In the fall, we've a date with our future. To construct an unbiased France … a conquering France that believes in its youth, and doesn’t worry the longer term but fairly invents it. A united France,” Macron stated.