The Macron government goes on vacation with an eye on the coronavirus

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Paris, Aug 2 (EFE) .- The order for the month of August has been clear: “Watchmen and mobilized to return to Paris if necessary.” The French Executive has deployed throughout the national territory to recharge the batteries before a return in late August that is announced harshly, and attentive to the possible rebound of the epidemic.

Following this week’s Council of Ministers, President Emmanuel Macron headed for the vacation home of the French heads of state, the Fort of Brégançon, between Marseille and Saint-Tropez.

He was followed by his ministers who accepted the recommendation to “set an example” and limit displacement, which is why most of them have decided to serve as a claim to national tourism choosing the Island of Ré, Corsica, Nice, Ardèche, the Alps as a resting place. or the French Basque Country.

The only one who does not seem willing to slow down is Prime Minister Jean Castex, who has been at the helm of the Executive since July 3, who will return to his home in Prades (Pyrenees-Orientales) for ten days in which he will keep his travel schedule. local, related to the economy and the coronavirus mainly.

“We are in a health crisis and for this reason alone I am operating 24 hours a day to make decisions when the situation requires it,” he declared this Sunday in the weekly “Journal du Dimanche”, where he adds having asked his ministers “to remain on alert” .

Castex has made 21 trips in this first month in office and has planned to continue with “the only way” in which he claims to know how to do things: visiting the terrain, privileging human contact and setting an example of dynamism.

An attitude that should have trained well for the return, the last week of August, in which the Cabinet will resume and will kick off a hectic course at the French employers’ summer university, which will open on the 26th August in the presence of other former leaders such as Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Manuel Valls.

REACTION TO THE CRISIS

Castex is the main person in charge of tracing the image that the government reacted late to the epidemic and did not take action in time, and that is why it now displays an attitude that French editorialists describe as ultra-reactive.

But, in addition to the guidelines of not going too far, the indications of these holidays are not very different from those of previous summers, along the lines of Macron’s fear of immobility.

The memory of the controversy of the Health Minister of Jacques Chirac in 2003, Jean-François Mattei, in his vacation home in the south of France while the country was facing an unprecedented heat wave that caused more than 15,000 deaths, is still very present in the local political imagination.

According to the French press, Macron could stay for three weeks in Brégançon, but it will be a “quiet and study” vacation, according to the words of the government spokesman, Gabriel Attal.

The president is preparing a specially charged return: the economic recovery plan of 100,000 million euros that will be presented at the council of ministers on August 25 and the disturbing progression of the epidemic will be part of his day to day.

With 5,298 patients admitted and 30,265 dead since the start of the epidemic, the country has seen in recent weeks a clear rise in cases compared to June, which has led ten departments to increase prevention and security measures with beach closings or enforce the use of the mask on the street (nationally it is only mandatory indoors).

But in addition to the health and economic crisis, the Government will have to face a difficult “rentrée”, in Macron’s words, in which they will recover the path of reforms such as pensions, dependency, unemployment and the preparation of the bill to include a wide range of ecological measures.

Along with the possible defense councils that may take place this month to deal with the epidemic, Macron will take advantage of his stay in the south to have dinner with former President Nicolas Sarkozy, according to “Le Journal du Dimanche”, which also talks about a bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

By María D. Valderrama

(c) EFE Agency

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