“Are these shouts of approval and joyful greetings or are these shouts of protest?” Asked the journalist of the French private channel BFM-TV, close to the ruling administration, in a live broadcast yesterday’s passage of President Macron along the Champs Elysees accompanied by a motorized and cavalry guard.
There was no question mark – it was clear that the whistles of the citizens’ protest could be heard after the announcement of the President of the Republic, on Monday night, that he would introduce measures that would make life almost impossible for the unvaccinated.
Paris, 14.07.2021 – military parade in Paris on the occasion of the Day of the Fall of the Bastille: Motorized units
Severe punishments and even imprisonment
To enter the cinema, the cafe – wherever there are potentially more than 50 people together – citizens will have to show a health passport, which means either a negative test certificate or a vaccination certificate.
Waiters and employees in cinemas and theaters will thus become controllers, which according to the first reactions does not suit them at all.
Even the police union said that police officers do not like the role of health controllers.
Penalties for restaurants that do not control health passports, for example, can go up to a year in prison and a fine of up to 45,000 euros.
Those who persistently refuse to be vaccinated should not imagine that they will be able to easily cope with the tests. For now, the tests are free, but from the middle of September, they will have to be paid, unless they are prescribed by a doctor.
The French president announced mandatory vaccination for children older than 12, for teaching staff, for all medical staff and numerous other professions that involve contact with people.
Macron acted in a determined and even threatening tone, announcing harsh punishments, including imprisonment, for restaurant owners who do not control guests, for guests who do not have certificates, for nurses outside hospitals who provide home care and refuse to be vaccinated.
Paris, 14.07.2021 – military parade in Paris on the occasion of the Day of the Fall of the Bastille: French Infantry
Elections and a new image
It is not entirely clear how the president will implement his measures.
If, from August 1, it is indeed obligatory to show a health passport in all places where there are more than 50 people – millions of French citizens who have not received both vaccines – they will actually be denied free movement.
If the threats do materialize, hundreds and perhaps thousands of nurses will leave their professions because they will not be vaccinated. The problem is that there are not enough of them already and that, after a terrible experience in the first wave of the epidemic, medical workers left state hospitals and the profession en masse.
Many today publicly criticize the French president because, as they say, he could have said everything in a different way – without a threatening tone. This is all the more so because he addressed the citizens on the eve of the national holiday of the Republic on July 14, when the French remember the revolution of 1789 “when France shed royal blood between itself and its past” (Larus’s encyclopedia).
Undoubtedly, President Macron has entered the campaign for the presidential and parliamentary elections that will be held in April next year.
He needs to impose himself as a president who knows what he wants, with firmly clenched jaws and a steely look. He needed this “image” because he said last year that he should applaud the medical staff who are now threatened with punishment, that he promised that he would never introduce the mandatory vaccination that he now advocates, and that he claimed that he would never allow France to be divided. because of vaccines – which he is now encouraging.
In a live broadcast of yesterday’s parade – the same BFM-TV journalist who “did not know” how to interpret the whistles of the few citizens on the sidewalks of the Champs Elysees – described the president as “very determined” in relation to the French army (which wrote protest petitions) and and in relation to vaccination – which he showed on Monday night.
True, the president can say that his threats fulfilled the purpose, because more than two million applications for vaccination were registered from his speech on Monday night until last night.
Paris, 14.07.2021 – military parade in Paris on the occasion of the Day of the Fall of the Bastille: Special Forces
Protests against the president’s measures
However, yesterday after the parade, about 19 thousand people demonstrated in Paris and other major cities in the interior, such as Toulouse, Marseille, Montpellier, Lyon.
In Paris, several hundred people took part in unannounced protests in the Place de la République, from where they started on Boulevard Saint-Martin, shouting “Freedom, freedom” and were soon stopped by the police. Police forces fired projectiles and tear gas at Mažanta Boulevard. They also dispersed the guests from the restaurant gardens.
At the same time, hundreds of citizens gathered in the north of Paris on Clichy Square.
The media reported that a total of about two thousand people protested in the French capital “against the vaccine dictatorship”.
“The vaccine they are proposing to us is still in the experimental phase. I have always been vaccinated and I have no problem with that. Now, however, I do not accept that in France, a country of freedom where I feel safe, someone is forcing me to do something I do not want to, forcing me to give up my opinion and my body as well: That body is mine and belongs to me. ” a young protester told Radio Europe1.
Her cousin added: “We are ready not to go on vacation, to sacrifice going out and going to restaurants if necessary for years.”
There were no protests in Strasbourg. Instead, long lines of those who wanted to take the opportunity could be seen in front of the Stock Exchange building in the morning, because it was possible to get vaccinated in this building yesterday without making an appointment.
One young man told reporters: “Commitment to vaccination is killing freedom, but it is still useful.”
Finally, the holiday ended yesterday with a magnificent fireworks display in Paris, which began gradually this year, with almost quiet music so that the birds would not be shocked by a sudden bang – as one expert explained. This year’s fireworks in Paris were dedicated to the theme of freedom.
Source: Balkan Magazin – Aktuelnosti by www.balkanmagazin.net.
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