From Marine Le Pen to Jean-Luc Mélenchon, via Olivier Faure – the boss of the PS who had requested by mail the holding of this meeting – or even the communist Fabien Roussel… They all responded this Thursday to the invitation of Edouard Philippe to Matignon on the coronavirus crisis. Only the president of the Republicans Christian Jacob, replaced by his secretary general Aurélien Pradié, was missing, retained at the headquarters of his party by a lunch with … Nicolas Sarkozy.
For nearly two hours, the head of government and his Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, delivered them the latest information on the evolution of the disease and the response of the public authorities to deal with it: “The more there is factual information, the better. Everyone must be well informed, ”insists Matignon. “It is not only a health crisis, it is also a political crisis. So we had to manage policies, ”deciphers a pillar of macronie.
“The opposition hailed the work of the government”
Political management, but not recovery swears the entourage of the Prime Minister. “We are not there to seek popularity with this subject,” says an adviser. Even if, since the beginning of the week, some, like LR Eric Ciotti, the patron of the National Rally Marine Le Pen, or even Ségolène Royal, have been knocking like deaf people on the management of the crisis by the government. “Edouard Philippe did not organize this exchange to meet Ciotti or Le Pen. We do not play politics with a subject that worries the French, ”sweeps Matignon.
The objective is therefore officially to reach a “Republican consensus”: “There are subjects on which we can argue, but not that one”, assures Philippe’s entourage. And to emphasize that the meeting took place in a “respectful spirit”. Over twenty questions were asked. In particular on a possible postponement of the municipal elections. A hypothesis which is not retained by the government, assured Philippe.
“The opposition praised the work of the government, says a participant, except Marine Le Pen who protested that there had been no interdepartmental, that football matches were not prohibited and that we didn’t close the borders ”. At the end of this exchange, solidarity going beyond partisan divisions seemed to be in order. “The real question is whether they kissed or shook hands at the exit,” laughs an intimate Prime Minister, referring to past instructions to prevent the spread of the virus.