In a solemn speech, the head of state decreed general mobilization against the spread of the virus and called for the implementation of “whatever it costs” measures to support the economy.
Three days before the first round of municipal elections and while the Chinese coronavirus has already contaminated 2,876 people and caused 61 deaths in France, Emmanuel Macron wanted to show the French that he had taken the measure of the gravity of the situation.
In a serious and solemn 26-minute televised speech, the head of state first explained that he was using only scientific sources to form an opinion on the evolution of Covid-19. “We are only at the beginning of the epidemic,” he said.
Hence the strong measures that need to be taken to protect the health of the most vulnerable and to stop the spread of the virus. “It’s absolutely urgent,” he says, paying tribute to hospital staff.
“Health is priceless.”
Emmanuel Macron announces, after “questioning the scientists” that “nothing prevents the French, even the most vulnerable, from going to the polls”. Even if, he says, it will be necessary to ensure strict compliance with the risk barriers against the virus”.
However, “exceptional” measures must be taken. In hospitals, first of all. “Non-essential care will be postponed. And since “health is priceless,” the government will mobilize all the necessary financial resources to assist the sick and save lives. “Whatever it costs”.
In schools next. “From Monday and until further notice, nurseries, schools, colleges, high schools and universities will be closed”. ” Because, according to scientists, children are the fastest spreaders of the virus, even though they often have no symptoms. To protect them and reduce the spread of the virus in our territory. A daycare service will be set up. More than 12 million students are concerned.
Help for businesses
The president decreed general mobilization on all fronts.
General mobilization of researchers. “Europe has all the assets to offer to the world the antidote to Covid-19”. Teams to develop a vaccine.
Social mobilization to help the poorest and most fragile. “I ask for exceptional measures” from the government.
General economic mobilization. “We will not add to the health difficulties the fear of bankruptcy for entrepreneurs, the anguish of unemployment and a difficult end of the month. The president announces the implementation of an “exceptional and massive” mechanism of partial unemployment. The State will take charge of compensating employees forced to stay at home. Companies will be able to defer without penalty the taxes due in March.
Emmanuel Macron also intends to ask his European partners to react “strongly and quickly” to protect his economy.
He asks the French to “join forces” around these measures.
The president wants to avoid “two pitfalls”: nationalist withdrawal because “this virus has no passport”. And “individualistic withdrawal. “He counts on the French in the days, weeks and months to come “to invent new solidarities”. Because, he says, “this crisis must be an opportunity for national mobilization and solidarity between generations”. “I am counting on you to awaken what is best in us, to reveal that generous soul which in the past has enabled France to face the most difficult trials. “What this pandemic reveals is that there are goods and services that must be placed outside the laws of the market. Building a sovereign France and Europe.
But now is the time to protect our fellow citizens. The time has come for this sacred union. A united France is our best asset. »
For more details : official speech by Emmanuel Macron on March 12, 2020.