Macron on brink: Rattled President forced to defend new Covid rules – Not a dictatorship

Macron outlines ambition for France to be a ‘framework nation’

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Many political figures in France have said that the new rules, which include mandatory vaccinations and Covid tests before going to a theatre or a restaurant, constitute a “dictatorship”. On top of that, the French government will require people to have health passes in certain situations.  A health pass consists either of a certificate of full vaccination, a negative PCR test dating less than 48 hours, or a certificate of recovery from COVID-19 of more than 15 days and less than six months.

Anyone who is caught without a health pass when they need it will face a six-month prison sentence and a 10,000 euro fine.

The news comes after a huge row erupted between the French President and the citizens of France.

The French public urged Mr Macron to be more like Boris Johnson and get rid of the coronavirus measures.

However, the French President has defended his decision.

He said: “No, this is not a dictatorship.

“Dictatorship is not a place where all your freedoms are maintained, where the entire electoral cycle has been maintained, where you can exercise your rights, where we reimburse all your tests, where the vaccine is free, that’s not called a dictatorship, I think the words have a meaning.”

Mr Macron added: “We have people today who, with a lot of political cynicism, use the fear of some or the confusion of others because of fake news, to create a political project.

“I think this cynicism should be bitterly fought because it puts the country at risk.”

He continued: “There are debates on all subjects, but if we empty words of their meaning, the risk we run is to threaten our own democracy.

“There is a political use of the word ‘dictatorship’ by some, but it is a civic duty, whatever political opinions one has, whether you are a politician, journalist, intellectual, to never fall into the wrong use of these words.”

The French President also stressed that “some have done it in the past with great ease”.

Mr Macron concluded by saying: “Some people disagree with these measures, and I fully understand and respect it, but when you have the weapons, you cannot deliberately decide not to use them against this virus.”

Additional reporting from Maria Ortega.

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