Emmanuel Macron under pressure after the Conflans attack

“Scavenger methods. The expression, scathing, is launched by the Minister for Citizenship Marlène Schiappa. It targets the president of the National Rally (RN), Marine Le Pen, while warlike rhetoric after the assassination, Friday, October 16, of Samuel Paty, a professor of a college in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Yvelines) killed and beheaded a few days after showing his students a caricature of Muhammad during a civic education class.

At no time since the attack has national unity, “indispensable” (according to the president), united the political class. “The right and the left can sweep in front of their door because, today, we lack legal weapons that have never been given, hence the separatism law. And we recover the radicalization of people who were brought up in the environment of laissez-faire, of carelessness, of the naivety of the years 1990-2000 ”, deplores Gérald Darmanin to the Parisian-Today in France.

If she had been able to give some good points to Emmanuel Macron two weeks ago after his speech at Mureaux (Yvelines) on “Islamist separatism”, the right, in particular, is increasing the pressure on the theme “Macron speaks but does not act “. “In Mureaux, there were also means, measures announced,” sweeps the entourage of the president. The stakes are high for the Head of State, more than ever expected on concrete results. In the freezing context of the assassination of a professor, it cannot appear unanswered or unresolved in the eyes of the French. Even the boss of LFI Jean-Luc Mélenchon asked Saturday to “effectively repress where the evil is”.

“The president asked us for very strong measures”

Since the tragedy, the executive therefore takes care to occupy the field and prepare the response. After the head of state’s trip to Conflans on Friday evening, it is up to the government to be on the front line. “We have no intention of not reacting to these inadmissible actions”, assured Prime Minister Jean Castex, opening a meeting on Saturday morning with representatives of the staff of National Education.

At the top of the State, and before the holding of the Defense Council scheduled for this Sunday at the end of the day at the Elysee, the meetings were chained on Saturday. At the end of the morning, in Jean Castex’s office in Matignon, with Jean-Michel Blanquer (Education), Gérald Darmanin (Interior), Eric Dupond-Moretti (Justice) and Marlène Schiappa (Citizenship). Then place Beauvau, in the afternoon. “The president asked us for very strong measures, that his words of Friday evening turn into actions, entrusts us the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin. It’s about orchestrating a very firm response. It remains to be seen what will be, in substance, the content.

In the immediate future, the Ministers of National Education and the Interior are working on new measures to protect the educational community after this unprecedented attack on a teacher. “I will be, and our country will be at your side to protect you, to allow you to do your job,” promised Jean-Michel Blanquer, after having received the teachers’ unions.

Social networks in the crosshairs

“There is a more global subject than protecting. We can put police in front of every school, in front of every newspaper, but it is a war against the enemy from within that we have to wage. This is what the president has decreed ”, echoed Gerald Darmanin. To lead it, the government is looking in particular on the side of social networks, point expected on the table of the Defense Council this Sunday.

Place Beauvau, we are certain that the Avia law against online hatred – censored in June by the Constitutional Council – would have prevented the broadcast of the video of a parent of a student who had appointed Samuel Paty to retaliate. In the aftermath of the attack, instructions were also given to reference the tweets or Facebook messages welcoming the attack, in order to counter the apology of terrorism.

VIDEO. Emmanuel Macron in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine: “A characterized Islamist attack”

“The subject is no longer just to fight terrorism, but also against all those who create the climate of separatism. There is a real hard fight to be waged against this kind of propaganda, on social networks in particular, and against the related associative or commercial structures ”, adds the Minister of the Interior. Marlène Schiappa intends, with this in mind, to summon the bosses of the French subsidiaries of Twitter, Facebook or Google, but also Instagram, Tiktok, Snapchat on Tuesday at the ministry.

Could the future bill on separatism, expected on December 9 in the Council of Ministers, also be the vehicle for additional measures? Possible… “It can always be enriched, completed, refined”, judges the Elysée.

The right and the RN in ambush

Opposite, the right also sharpens its response. The LR deputies, who had formed a working group to phosphorus on the separatism law, accelerated. Group president Damien Abad very quickly revealed avenues for combating Islamism and especially its entry into school. “Given the context, we could not wait,” we explain to the group. In the Senate, Christian Jacob’s party will have a bill on secularism examined on Monday in order to include in the Constitution the preeminence of the rules of the Republic on religions or origins, with the objective of excluding communitarian parties from funding target audiences for election candidates.

As for the president of the RN, Marine Le Pen, she also intends to give voice during a press statement Monday morning. His entourage assures that it will be “solemn”. Clearly, Macron’s opponents do not intend to leave him the monopoly of the response.

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