Watch Macron ‘Thank’ Woman Greeting Him With ‘F*ck You’ Message Written on Her Hands
17:14 GMT 11.01.2022 (Updated: 19:01 GMT 11.01.2022)
© REUTERS / BENOIT TESSIERFrench President Emmanuel Macron, wearing a protective face mask, visits a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination center at the Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maladie (France's local health insurance funds - CPAM) in Bobigny near Paris as part of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in France, March 1, 2021.
The woman's gesture served as a protest against the government's new Covid restrictions. Macron sparked outrage among a sizable chunk of the population last week after saying that his anti-Covid strategy included a desire to ‘piss off’ the unvaccinated by making it impossible for them to visit public venues or use long-distance public transport.
French President Emmanuel Macron received an unpleasant welcome in the southeastern French commune of Tende Monday as a maskless woman greeted with the words “F*ck You” written on her hands.
Macron appeared unfazed by the greeting, thanking people for coming out. “Thank you very much, thank you, that’s nice, thank you and good luck, protect yourself,” he calmly said.
The exchange was caught on camera and broadcast online and by news channels.
The protester, a Polish woman named Justyna who has been living in France for 13 years, told France’s BFMTV news channel that the gesture was a protest against Macron’s recent comments about seeking to “piss off” those who opposed Covid vaccinations. “He shouldn’t force us to be vaccinated,” the woman said.
Macron sparked a firestorm of criticism last week after saying that the government’s new Covid rules, which would bar the unvaxxed from restaurants, cafes, theatres, cinemas, trains. and other venues, was meant to “piss…off” those refusing to take the jab. The restrictions, which are set to go into effect as soon as next week, will ditch the negative PCR test option previously available.
France’s ‘vaccine pass’ bill has been sent to the Senate for review after a fierce, days-long debate in the National Assembly. Marine Le Pen’s conservative Rassemblement National, and leftist forces including Jean-Luc Melenchon’s democratic socialist La France Insoumise and the Communist Party managed to temporarily derail the measure’s approval last week, citing concerns about bodily autonomy and freedom of choice.
Macron has dismissed the latter arguments in the past, suggesting that anti-vaxxers’ position was “not freedom,” but “irresponsibility, egoism.”
Le Pen, who is expected to challenge Macron in the upcoming presidential elections in April, slammed the president as a “pyromaniac” over his “I want to piss them off” remarks, suggesting France needed “unity…and not division” to overcome the current health crisis.
Over 100,000 people took to the streets across France over the weekend, chanting “We’ll piss you off” and getting into minor scuffles with police in some areas.
France is among the most highly vaccinated countries in Europe, with over 90 percent of eligible adults and teenagers fully vaccinated, pending revaccinations. France and other European nations have reported a dramatic spike in Covid cases in recent days, with the vaccine-evasive but mild Omicron variant blamed. France has seen 265,193 new cases over the past week, including 87,577 infections over the past 24 hours, up dramatically from as few as 5,000 cases in October.
A World Health Organisation official estimated Tuesday that more than half of Europeans would get Omicron over the next 6-8 weeks.
11 January, 12:24 GMT