Macron snubbed by French mayor who removes President’s portrait after vaccine remarks

Macron's comments on unvaccinated 'undiplomatic' says expert

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Emmanuel Macron’s famous declaration, indicating his “desire to p**s off the unvaccinated until the end”, is definitely not unanimous. In Tarn-et-Garonne, Nils Passedat, mayor of Lavaraurette, a town of about 200 inhabitants, decided to take down the portrait of the head of state in his town hall and send it back to the prefecture, reports La Dépêche du Midi. Offended by Emmanuel Macron’s remarks, the mayor felt he could no longer meet his City Council under the gaze of the presidential portrait.

In a letter addressed to the prefect of the department, the elected official says he wonders about “this new policy that no longer wants to be sanitary but discriminatory, and the means to implement this new strategy.”

To the prefecture, he specifies that the official portrait has been replaced by the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789.

Interviewed by France 3, Nils Passedat said: “This tendency of regularly insulting certain administrative bodies, certain social bodies”, which “makes division reign.”

The mayor added: “So, maybe he reigns better like that, but we believe that the role of the Head of State, of the President of the Republic, is to unite, to reunite France. We feel that he insults the presidential role.”

According to the mayor’s letter, “Since the election of Macron, our city council has always met under the gaze of the one who embodies the head of state.”

It added: “But today that citizens have been insulted by the very one who has the duty to serve them, we have decided to return his portrait to you.

“This portrait will be replaced by the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 which, in its first article, affirms that all citizens are born and remain free and equal in rights.”

Nils Passedat sent a copy of his letter to the mayors of the department, asking them to join his gesture by returning to the prefecture the portrait of the person who embodies the head of state.

Bernard Pezous, president of the Association of Mayors of Tarn-et-Garonne said: “It is a very personal political decision on his part and I am not aware of any other case. Whether or not everyone likes the terms used by Emmanuel Macron, I prefer to remain neutral.”

The presence in the town hall of the portrait of the head of state is a tradition and not a mandatory obligation.

The debacle was started following Mr Macron’s statement to anti-vaxxers saying “we will p**s you off.”

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Anti-vaccine protesters rallied in cities across France on Saturday, denouncing President Emmanuel Macron’s intent to annoy people refusing Covid-19 shots by tightening curbs on their civil liberties.

Mr Macron said last week he wanted to irritate unvaccinated people by making their lives so complicated they would end up getting jabbed.

Unvaccinated people were irresponsible and unworthy of being considered citizens, he added.

In Paris, protesters retorted by adopting his slangy wording, chanting “We’ll p**s you off”.

Others carried signs saying “No to the vaccine pass”, a reference to Mr Macron’s legislative push to require proof of vaccination to enter venues such as cafes, bars and museums.

TV images showed skirmishes between protesters and police at one site.

Protesters also rallied through the streets in Marseille, Nantes and Le Mans among other cities.

“[Macron’s remarks] were the last straw. We are not irresponsible,” said hospital administrator Virginie Hoguet, who has avoided a mandatory vaccine order for health workers because she caught Covid-19 late last year.

So far in France, 11.9m people have been infected with the virus, and 123,000 people have succumbed to the pandemic.

127 million doses of the vaccine have been given to the French, with 50m people fully vaccinated.

72 percent of the French population has been fully vaccinated.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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