Home World Macron crisis: French President’s coronavirus speech DIVIDES nation with 53% 'unconvinced'

Macron crisis: French President’s coronavirus speech DIVIDES nation with 53% 'unconvinced'

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In an eagerly-anticipated address to the nation on Sunday night, Mr Macron said he was accelerating plans to ease the restrictions in a bid to revive the eurozone’s second biggest economy more swiftly. He announced restaurants and cafes in Paris would be allowed to reopen fully, bringing relief to a hospitality industry battered by the crisis.

The only answer is to build a stronger economic model, to work and produce more, not to rely on others

Emmanuel Macron

And he promised the £447billion cost of keeping companies afloat and people in jobs during the worst economic downturn since World War 2 would not be passed to households through higher taxes.

But an survey by French pollster ELABE for the BFMTV news channel found 53 percent of French citizens who had listened to the President’s speech did not find it convincing.

The poll results showed 47 percent of French people who saw, listened to or heard about the President’s speech found it convincing including 6 percent who found it “very convincing” and 41 percent “somewhat convincing”.

But 33 percent of respondents described Mr Macron’s speech as “rather unconvincing” and 20 percent found it “not convincing at all”.

Macron speech

Emmanuel Macron’s speech has been eagerly anticipated in France (Image: GETTY)

The survey also revealed 46 percent of those polled believe Mr Macron was up to the task of handling the coronavirus crisis, a 9 percent increase on a survey carried out on May 19 and 20.

But 54 percent of French people said he was not incapable of meeting challenge, the poll found.

Mr Macron said the coronavirus pandemic had exposed the “flaws and fragility” of France’s, and more broadly Europe’s, over-reliance on global supply chains, from the car industry to smart phones and pharmaceuticals.

He said: “The only answer is to build a new, stronger economic model, to work and produce more, so as not to rely on others.”

READ MORE: Macron BRAGS about France’s coronavirus response and declares victory

Emmanuel Macron

More than half of viewers were unconvinced by Emmanuel Macron (Image: GETTY)

Coronavirus has killed more than 29,300 people in France and forced Mr Macron, a former investment banker, to suspend his economic and social reform drive aimed at spurring growth, creating jobs and deregulating the economy.

The French government expects the economy to shrink by 11 percent in 2020.

Mr Macron said he would lay out a detailed blueprint for the final two years of his mandate next month.

The divisions in opinion fell mainly along party lines with supporters of Mr Macron’s LaREM party most satisfied with his performance during the health crisis – 94 percent saying they were satisfied against 6 percent who were dissatisfied.

France protests

French healthworkers join protests against Emmanuel Macron’s handling of the coronavirus crisis (Image: GETTY)

The most critical respondents were either supporters of the rebellious France LFI (73 percent dissatisfied) or of right-winger Marine Le Pen’s RN (83 percent dissatisfied).

The survey found the French are overwhelmingly worried about the future with 87 percent admitting they were concerned about the country’s economic situation, while 83 percent held fears about the level of public debt.

It showed 55 percent believed their own financial situation could become a cause for concern while 37 percent said they feared losing their job.

Health Minister Olivier Veran said the worst part of the coronavirus epidemic was now behind France but people must remain vigilant as the virus continues to circulate

He said: “The largest part of the epidemic is behind us but the virus is not dead.

“We did not completely defeat it and we are controlling its circulation. We continue testing.”

Asked if he feared a new wave of infections following news of a fresh cluster of coronavirus cases centred around a wholesale market in China, Mr Veran said he was not worried but vigilant.

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Paris restaurant

Bars, cafes and restaurants have re-opened in Paris (Image: GETTY)

The ELABE study carried out for BFMTV on a sample of 1,012 people representative of the French population aged 18 and over.

ELABE study carried out for BFMTV interviewed 1,012 people representative of the French population aged 18 and over, accounting for sex, age and profession.

The survey was conducted online on June 15.

(Additional reporting by Maria Ortega)



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