August 1, 2021

MPs thwart Macron’s schedule

Crisis of nerves between the National Assembly and the executive on the health crisis management bill. Nearly 900 amendments still had to be examined by the deputies, Thursday, July 22, after a first session in hemicycle until midnight Wednesday, under fire from criticism from the opposition. The text declines the health restriction measures announced, Monday, July 12, by Emmanuel Macron and aims to push the French towards vaccination, in particular by extending the health pass to certain leisure activities and daily life.

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The government had theoretically left only four days in Parliament to debate and vote on this ninth piece of legislation relating to the state of health emergency. From the opening of the meeting at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, the atmosphere became tense, opposition groups from both left and right denouncing the conditions “Ubuesque” in which the parliamentary debate was taking place. “When, at 4 o’clock [du matin], we vote on amendments that will have consequences for millions of French people, the quality of the debate is in question! ” vituperated the deputy (La France insoumise) from the North, Ugo Bernalicis, in reference to the twelve hours of examination of the text spent the day before in committee to examine more than 600 amendments. “It is the health emergency that requires this text to be examined urgently, retorted the president of the law commission, Yäel Braun-Pivet (The Republic on the move, LRM). Saccording to me, the parliamentary work we do is of high quality ”.

Protesters in front of the Assembly

A l’offensive, Socialists in favor of compulsory vaccination have tabled a motion for the prior rejection of the text. This has been widely rejected but no less discussed. At the same time, several anti-health and anti-vaccine mobilizations brought together a few hundred people in Paris and Toulouse. The National Assembly was, for its part, subject to an important security system, demonstrators having presented themselves in its vicinity. A few hours before the meeting, Prime Minister Jean Castex tried to clarify the government’s intentions. Guest of TF1’s 1 p.m. newscast, the tenant of Matignon announced that the managers of establishments open to the public (ERP) will have to control the sanitary passes but will not be able to proceed to the “Identity verification” of the person presenting it, this prerogative being reserved for the police. Mr. Castex also added that there would be no health pass in schools and that vaccinated people will no longer have to isolate themselves if they are contact cases.

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