A clash between Jean-Michel Blanquer and Olivier Véran on the sidelines of the Council of Ministers

“There is a great atmosphere! Jokes a macronist to set the scene. The scene, which takes place just before the Council of Ministers, caused a lot of talk in the ranks of the government. When he arrives at the Élysée on Wednesday January 12, on the eve of a giant strike announced in schools, Jean-Michel Blanquer is “visibly very upset, very upset”, according to a witness. In the room where a handful of his colleagues are already patient before the weekly meeting begins, he is rushing towards the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran. Behind the scenes, the tension has been mounting on health protocol in schools.

“Listen, Jean-Michel, you need to calm down”

According to his confidences to a relative, the Minister of National Education, under fire from critics, is outraged by the feeling “of having to carry everything on the shoulders while the health situation is complex”. Internally, some also point to the fact that he would have “experienced as a humiliation that Castex made the announcements in his place Monday evening to lighten the protocol”. And the opposition does not fail to support where it hurts, sometimes pointing to a “disavowal”, says LR Damien Abad, sometimes a “bazaar” worthy of “Kafka”, according to the ecologist Yannick Jadot.

In the antechamber of the Ambassadors’ lounge at the Elysee Palace, a present reported, “Blanquer spoke to Véran in a confused manner about an article evoking their conflict, during the meeting last Friday”. The Minister of Health then asks him to tone down. The two men move away in the idea of ​​not making a scene in public. “But Blanquer did not calm down, he continued to speak very loudly,” said a minister. “Jean-Michel is an icebreaker stuck in the ice for a long time,” laughs a heavyweight Macronist.

VIDEO. Covid-19: Attal supports Blanquer at the end of the Council of Ministers

He then reproaches, among other things, the Minister of Health for not having sufficiently defended him in a question to the government. “We will have to remain tightly knit, it will rock,” he intends to him. “Listen to what I said on France Info”, retorts Véran, referring to an interview given a few hours earlier during which he “welcomed the action of Jean-Michel Blanquer”. And the Minister of Health to add, according to a witness: “Listen, Jean-Michel, you have to calm down, we have to unite. We have to hold out in the media storm, but we have to calm down. “

“It was very hot”

When the fever had passed, everyone was careful to delay. “It was not a clash, but a frank explanation, as we can often have. We’ve had some like that before. We didn’t yell at each other, we just explained, ”Blanquer said to a loved one. “It was very tight on the form, but on the bottom there is no subject”, certify one in the entourage of Véran. Several of their colleagues nevertheless remained stuck. “It was very hot,” says one of them.

If he had cropped it in front of the readers of the “Parisian” – “Today in France” last week, this Wednesday, in the closed door of the Council of Ministers, Emmanuel Macron this time gave strong support to his minister caught in turmoil.

“I thank the Prime Minister and the Minister of Education for the pragmatic decisions that have been taken. We must continue to listen and support teachers and parents, with efficiency, kindness and listening “, he said, when talking about” the strong fatigue and fatigue understandable in schools. ” A meeting in which Jean-Michel Blanquer was not very talkative … “He did not open his mouth”, confides one of his colleagues, when another adds: “He was still not calmed down. leaving. “

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