A president in campaign. If he was careful not to mention the presidential election of 2022, Emmanuel Macron did indeed have this meeting in mind, Monday, July 12, when announcing new health measures intended to fight against the spread. of the Delta variant.
Because beyond the main announcements of his televised address – the vaccination obligation and the extension of the health pass – the Head of State has also sent many signals to his electorate about insurance reforms -unemployment and pensions. He thus made the resumption of control of the fate of France a possible campaign slogan.
- Vaccination obligation, extended health pass, PCR tests
Emmanuel Macron announced compulsory vaccination for nursing and non-nursing staff in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and retirement homes, as well as for professionals and volunteers working with the elderly, including at home. Those affected ‘will have until September 15 to get vaccinated’. On this date will be implemented ‘controls and sanctions’, he warned.
From July 21, the health pass – negative Covid test or vaccination certificate – will come into force in ‘places of leisure and culture’ bringing together more than 50 people, and will apply to everyone from the age of 12, said the President of the Republic. It will then be extended ‘at the beginning of August’ to cafes, restaurants, shopping centers, as well as planes, trains, long-distance coaches and medical establishments.
>> To read: Emmanuel Macron puts the unvaccinated under pressure
PCR tests, free since the start of the epidemic, unlike what is done in many countries, will also be waived from October if they are not prescribed by prescription.
Emmanuel Macron finally announced that a recall campaign for people vaccinated first, in January and February – often the most vulnerable -, would start ‘at the beginning of September’.
- Pursue the reforms
Emmanuel Macron began his speech with a positive note by announcing a forecast for growth in France of 6% in 2021 and the creation, since the beginning of the year, of 187,000 jobs. He also spoke of the rest of his five-year term and in particular the pursuit of reforms in the coming months. He thus assured that the contested reform of unemployment insurance, certain provisions of which were suspended by the Council of State, would be ‘fully implemented from October 1’.
This entry into force corresponds to a ‘simple will’, he summed up: ‘One must always earn a better living by working than by staying at home, which is currently not always the case.’
The President of the Republic has also announced the launch of a ‘massive plan for the training and re-qualification of the long-term unemployed’ and the creation of a ‘commitment income’ for young people without a job or without training, particularly affected by the health crisis, following a ‘logic of duties and rights’.
>> To see: Reform of unemployment insurance: a campaign promise that is struggling to materialize
But it was on another contested reform, that of pensions, that Emmanuel Macron was particularly expected. This will be initiated ‘as soon as sanitary conditions are met’, said the president, asking the government to ‘work with the social partners on this subject at the start of the school year’.
‘To protect current pensions and those of our children without raising taxes, it is just and efficient to change our pension system,’ said the head of state, who said that ‘special schemes will have to be abolished for new employees’ in certain sectors and felt that ‘because we are living longer we will have to work longer and retire later’.
While the polls show that Xavier Bertrand could represent a threat in 2022, Emmanuel Macron, with unemployment insurance and pensions, winks supported to the right-wing electorate by showing that his desire to reform France is intact. However, the president is sparing a way out by avoiding fully engaging in a perilous reform, only a few months before the presidential election – he has indeed made it clear that he will not launch the pension reform ‘as long as the epidemic continues. will not be under control and the recovery will be assured ‘.
- ‘Take back control of our destiny’
‘The only solution is to continue to shake up the system and established positions, pensions, statutes. This is how we will regain control of our destiny as a nation. This is how we will each take back control of our lives as citizens. The will that France must show is this: to regain control of our destiny, to guarantee to each of us that he can regain control of his personal, professional, family and civic destiny. ‘
Far from the immediate challenges of the fight against Covid-19, Emmanuel Macron’s speech sometimes seemed to outline a future axis of the campaign. The Head of State thus announced the launch, at the start of the school year, of a new investment plan, after the recovery plan of 100 billion euros decided last September, which will take place ‘after the work and the consultations In progress’.
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” We will decide on an investment plan that will aim for one objective: to build the France of 2030 and to bring out in our country and in Europe the champions of tomorrow who, in the fields of digital technology, green industry, biotechnologies or still in agriculture, will shape our future. ‘
Here again, Emmanuel Macron was careful to send numerous signals to the right-wing electorate, assuring that his future spending would be financed without ‘tax hikes’ and without letting ‘the debt slip away’. Finally, he particularly insisted on ‘work and merit’: ‘This French social model is based on one foundation: work. Without work, there is no production. Without work and without production, no funding for our health, no funding for short-time working, no funding for our pensions. ‘