US press praises President Macron's Covid-19 response
French President Emmanuel Macron has been praised in a new article in The New York Times, which expresses shock over the gulf between what it calls his positive handling of the Covid-19 crisis and the negativity of public opinion in France.
The article, published in the US newspaper on June 5 is titled: “Macron beat back the coronavirus. France is not impressed."
Adam Nissiter, Paris bureau chief for The New York Times, wrote: “France has fared better than many in the pandemic, especially when compared with the United States, Italy, Spain and especially Britain.
"Just don’t tell that to the French, who resent Mr. Macron for it more than ever.”
In the article, Mr Nissiter praises the President for preventing mass job losses, providing support for the unemployed, preventing long food lines and achieving a relatively low death rate, compared to France's neighbours.
Much of the praise for this, he writes, is falling on France’s Prime Minister Édouard Philippe.
The article goes on to cite a national poll in which a majority of respondents found the President’s manner ‘‘arrogant’’ and ‘‘authoritarian”.
French politicians react
While Mr Macron’s political party La République En Marche (LREM) was quick to share the positive article via social media, other politicians have also come out in support of the President.
Jean Michael Mis, LREM MP for the Loire and Olivia Gregoire, also a member of LREM and vice-president of France’s finance commission, both tweeted the article along with words of support for the President.
Another LREM MP, Roland Lescure, tweeted: “When we compare…” referencing the contrast between the US President and French President’s approach to handling the pandemic.
Mr Lescure is the representative of the First Constituency for French Residents overseas, a government body that represents French citizens living in the US and Canada.
Surprisingly, Guillaume Larrivé, MP for Yonne, and member of France’s Républicains party, which is currently a major opposition to LREM, also tweeted the article.
He wrote: “This will, without doubt, displease the professional bad-mouthers, but I find this article in The New York Times quite accurate.”
This contrasts with the 13 members of parliament who deserted LREM in May, meaning the President’s party no longer has a majority in l’Assemblée Nationale.
This has, according to Mr Nissiter, inflicted “a symbolic blow widely interpreted in the French media as an ominous sign for Mr. Macron’s future".
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