2021 wishes: the French are great

Draw a balance sheet, trace perspectives? This was to be, according to the expression, the menu of the speech of Emmanuel Macron who presented this Thursday his “wishes to the French”. But for his 4e edition since the beginning of the quinquennium, this ritual exercise could hardly be reduced to this obligatory figure. How to speak of prospects while the rulers are groping forward, in Paris as in almost all the capitals, in the fog of an unpredictable and unpredictable crisis? To face this challenge, Macron has freed himself from the warrior or hypervolunteerist tone of which he has made himself a specialty. Far from the verticality of previous editions, these wishes for 2021 should first be a message of empathy. To respond to the anguish of the French, it was necessary to overplay proximity.

“I am fully aware, by the decisions that I had to make, of the sacrifices that I asked of you”, he declared, assuring that the government “will be there” for students and for the sectors most affected, such as culture, catering, tourism or sport.

As if to ward off the chronic pessimism of his fellow citizens – a large majority of French people think that worse is yet to come and doubt the country’s ability to overcome the economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis – Macron has multiplied the optimistic messages. “This historic ordeal has also revealed the solidity of our Nation”, he assured. From the year 2020 he wants to remember “Exemplary routes” that she revealed and who are “So many compasses for times to come”. The Head of State then embarked on a long list which occupied a large part of his brief speech: the nurse Marie-Corentine de Limoges who left everything to lend a hand to the teams of the hospital of Créteil, Gérald, the entrepreneur who has run his mask factories seven days a week, 24 hours a day, Rosalie, bookseller in Bagnolet who has been able to innovate and continue his activity thanks to the internet.

To this litany of first names he added that of Medhi, professor of economic and social sciences in the northern districts of Marseille who gave himself the means to organize a course on secularism and the assassination of Samuel Paty or that of Wendie (Fox) who found “The strength of soul to go and win with his club a 7e Football Champions League ”. As much “First names of hope” who have “Held the country in the test”, concluded Macron, enthusiastic.

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According to him, his government would not have done badly either, “The right choices at the right times”, whatever the oppositions say, often very severe on the management of the health crisis: “Our country is one of those which intervened the most to protect and support young people, workers and entrepreneurs. This “whatever it costs”, I accept it because it has made it possible to preserve lives and protect jobs “ he argued, putting off – until the next presidential campaign? – the very delicate question of how to deal with this enormous debt, which should not be done “A burden for future generations”.

“Hope is there”, “Hope lives”, “Hope grows” to martelé Macron. In 2021, “whatever happens”, he affirms that the country will be able to cope with health, economic and social, terrorist and climatic crises. What if the epidemic “Will still weigh heavily on the life of our country, at least until spring”, the vaccine should help loosen its grip. Implicitly evoking the controversy over the government’s vaccine strategy, Macron wanted to show that he heard those who consider it too cautious and too slow. If there can be no question of “Play with safety and the right conditions, supervised by our scientists and our doctors, in which the vaccination must be done”, he says he will not let “For the wrong reasons, unwarranted slowness is taking hold”. Without further details, he proclaims that “Every French person who wishes should be able to be vaccinated. Safely and in the right order, starting with the most risky ones ”.

“Relaunch”

Hope, Macron sees it “Grow every day” thanks to a “A revival which is already shuddering in France more than elsewhere and which will allow us, starting in the spring, to invent a stronger economy, at the same time job creator, more innovative, more respectful of the climate and biodiversity and more united ”. He does not say more about the means to get there and we remain, in this speech, very far from the voluntarist and satisfied tone that characterized the wishes for 2020 last year. Macron invited us to rejoice in the jobs. created and factories opened. It has been a long time since “France had not known such momentum”. We were going “Continue to transform the country” and the pension reform would be completed. Another world.

Alain Auffray

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