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POLICY – It's pretty hard to follow. As the country faces an unprecedented epidemic, Republicans struggle to find the right tone and speak with one voice. The first opposition party, which is (virtually) received this Thursday, April 2 by Édouard Philippe, oscillates between a reflex of national union and virulent criticism of the executive and its management of the fight against covid-19.
Accused of having pressured the executive to maintain the first round of the municipal elections, the party's tenors are now playing the appeasement card. This is particularly the case of the President of the Senate Gérard Larcher. In the columns of Parisian Sunday, March 29, he assumed straightforwardly his support for Emmanuel Macron. “Let things be clear, faced with this health crisis, I am by the President of the Republic”, said the President of the Senate, saying that “national disunity would be the worst thing”.
In an interview with Figaro on March 30, it was the president of the party Christian Jacob who said he wanted to postpone the political contests. “Everyone must be in the exercise of their responsibilities. I consider that the government is in its role; it works ”, indicated the one who had himself tested positive for covid-19. Words that contrast with those made by LR executives, who did not hesitate to attack the government head-on.
Among them, the deputy of Alpes-Maritime Eric Ciotti, who multiplies the tweets and media interventions to accuse the government of not having taken in time the measures which were essential. The same goes for his colleague from Vaucluse, Julien Aubert, who notably accused the executive of procrastinating on the use of chloroquine.
While the Minister of Health said he was waiting for the results of a large-scale test before making a decision, several right-wing figures, from MP Valérie Boyer to Senator Bruno Retailleau, took up the cause for Professor Raoult and defended bec and nails the use of this controversial treatment. What I didn't necessarily like to everybody rue de Vaugirard.
Edouard Philippe “will not let anyone say that there has been a delay”
YES I say there have been systematic delays in the face of #coronavirus:
Lyon-Turin match maintained, Macron theater outing, lack of tests, respirators, beds, late order of masks, abandonment of Ehpad
– Eric Ciotti (@ECiotti) March 28, 2020
“Rethink all of our software”
Beyond these contradictory messages sent by LR officials, the party's layers are also experiencing an upheaval in their certainties. “We will have to rethink all our political software”, declared on March 22 the president of the LR group to the National Assembly, Damien Abad, estimating that “the policies of budget cuts in matters of public health must be abandoned”. A position that is surprising, when we remember the coldness with which the candidate LR for the presidential, François Fillon, evoked the necessary fight against the debt before caregivers dumbfounded in 2017.
The deputy of Ain is not the only one to know an ideological questioning. Nearby HuffPost a few days ago, the president of the LR group in the Senate, Bruno Retrailleau, asked the same questions. “We will have to de-globalize to relocate and we will have to draw similar consequences on the climate crisis,” conceded the senator from Vendée.
Some go further, like Aurélien Pradié, a young LR deputy from Lot who did not hesitate to speak of economic “planning” in an interview with Release. “We will not avoid questioning liberalism, that is obvious. I have been doing it for a while, even if it means passing for a communist. The fundamental question is there: the idea that money is the only scale of value, and that the state has no role to play. We killed the idea of the state, “says LR number 3. We almost forget the ultra-liberal program of François Fillon which provided, among other things, the abolition of 500,000 jobs in the public service and a drop in expenses of 40 billion for businesses.
See also onThe HuffPost: A special minute of silence for Devedjian and Césarini at the Assembly