France lockdown: Government faces criticism from French press
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French papers have lambasted Emmanuel Macron for his bungling pandemic response and blamed him for the AstraZeneca vaccine fiasco. Speaking on France24, press reviewer Alison Sargent discussed how “French papers are really united” in criticising Mr Macron’s handling of Covid. This follows France’s decision to impose a fresh lockdown on Paris and parts of northern France amid spiralling Covid cases.
Ms Sargent noted Libération’s headline, which read “F***, a month…,” couldn’t be translated on-air.
She said: “Libération’s reaction to the lockdown summarises the feelings of all of us.
“For non-French speakers, I cannot actually translate all of this headline for you because we would have to drop the f-bomb.
“The left-wing paper writes yesterday that the lockdown was an admission of failure from the Government, even if they continue to insist that France’s strategy to hold off on putting the capital into lockdown until now was the right one.”
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Ms Sargent continued: “French papers are really united in their exasperation.
“Le Figaro’s editorial really lays into the French Government for suspending the AstraZeneca vaccine just because other European countries did so.
“They are also attacking the Government for failing to acquire more vaccines and a failure to create a functional vaccine strategy.
“We are seeing similar criticism in the paper L’Opinion. We see a cartoon of Macron half-heartedly using a vaccine shot to put out the flames of COVID-19.
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“Their headline is asking whether Lockdown 3 is maybe going to be the breaking point for France.”
Earlier this year, Mr Macron stunned health officials by rejecting experts’ calls to lock the country down after vowing to do whatever it took to keep the eurozone’s second largest economy as open as possible.
However, France has since been ravaged by a third wave of infections, with the variant first detected in Britain now accounting for 75 percent of cases.
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The French President has also come under fire in the wake of a shambolic vaccine rollout.
Right-wing National Rally leader Marine Le pen led the onslaught with a withering attack on Mr Macron and his chaotic response to the pandemic, tweeting: “Lockdown comes when you have failed everything else.
“The French pay for a slow and inconsistent vaccination process.”
France was forced into another U-turn with prime minister Jean Castex announcing that AstraZeneca vaccinations would restart following advice from the European Medicines Agency that the vaccine was “safe and effective.”
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