French president intends stricter rules to ‘piss off’ unvaccinated people

French president intends stricter rules to ‘piss off’ unvaccinated people
Credit: Belga

French President Emmanuel Macron has said in an interview that he aims to continue to make life difficult for the unvaccinated in order to convince them to get the dose.

Macron explained his strategy to Le Parisien newspaper using the French word ‘emmerder’ – which saw him come under fire from political opponents. The word means “to piss off” or “to irritate” and is considered very informal language for a president.

“I want to continue to piss off the unvaccinated. That is the strategy to the bitter end,” Macron said. “The time of asking nicely is over, only the hard approach remains. We will not arrest them, we will not use force to jab them, we have to make it clear in a different way.”

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Starting from Saturday 15 January, France will switch to a 1G policy, meaning that only vaccination certificates will be accepted in the French ‘pass sanitaire’ (“health pass”) to enter certain establishments.

“Anyone who wants to go to the restaurant, the cinema or for a coffee will have to be vaccinated,” said Macron. This will severely restrict the social opportunities for those who are not vaccinated, as negative test results or recovery certificates will no longer be accepted.

‘No language for a president’

The interview drew a lot of attention and even postponed the parliamentary vote on the stricter vaccination pass. “Before we vote on a text, I would like to know if it is intended to bully people,” Communist Party presidential candidate Fabien Roussel asked.

For Marine Le Pen of the far-right Rassemblement National party, Macron’s comment was “no language for a president.”

“This vulgarity and violence from the President of the Republic proves that he has never considered himself to be the president of all the French people,” she said on Twitter. “It is a political fault but also a serious moral fault!”

Le Pen is a candidate in the next presidential election in France, which will take place in April.

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