PARIS — French parliament suspended debate on a new Covid-19 law early on Wednesday as opposition lawmakers demanded explanations from President Emmanuel Macron about comments in which he said he wanted to “piss off” unvaccinated people.

Macron made the remark in an interview with Le Parisien newspaper published late on Tuesday. He also said unvaccinated people were “irresponsible” and that he planned to make their lives so complicated that they would end up having a vaccine.

The term Macron used in the interview, which was published shortly before lawmakers were to resume a debate over the new legislation, is a vulgar word that is often translated as “piss off” but can also mean “get on someone’s nerves.”

Dec. 18, 202102:00

The legislation will make it mandatory for people to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination to enter a restaurant or cinema, or take the train. The session was rapidly taken over by discussion of his comments.

“A president cannot say such things,” lawmaker Christian Jacob, who chairs the opposition, conservative Les Republicans party, told parliament. “I’m in favor of the vaccine pass but I cannot back a text whose objective is to ‘piss off’ the French.”

“Is that your objective, yes or no? We cannot keep debating without having a clear answer on that.”

Other opposition echoed Jacob’s comments and demanded Prime Minister Jean Castex come to talk to them. The session was suspended shortly before 2 a.m (8 p.m. ET Tuesday) and was due to resume at 3 p.m.

Though France has historically had more vaccine sceptics than many of its neighbors, it has one of the highest Covid-19 vaccination rates in the European Union, with nearly 90 percent of French aged 12 and over vaccinated.

With a presidential election looming in April, in which he is widely expected to run, Macron may have calculated that his comments on the unvaccinated would go down well with voters.

He said in the interview he “would like to” run again and his remarks became the top trending topics on Twitter in France.

For months, people have had to show either proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test at many public venues. But as infections with the Delta and Omicron variants surge, the government has decided to drop the test option in the new bill.

Source: This post first appeared on NBC News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle take aim at UK media in new docuseries

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle take aim at UK media in new docuseries

Prince Harry is taking aim at the British media, claiming it’s his…

House Passes ‘Respect for Marriage Act,’ Sends Bill to Biden’s Desk

The House passed the so-called “Respect for Marriage Act” without strong religious…
New York Times employees launch 24-hour strike in newspaper's first major staff walkout in 40 years

New York Times employees launch 24-hour strike in newspaper’s first major staff walkout in 40 years

NEW YORK — Hundreds of journalists and other employees at The New…
Bout pictured in Angola at the height of his arms dealing career, during his military career, he spent time in the country as a military translator

Viktor Bout Russian arms dealer who inspired Lord of War movie swapped for Brittney Griner

He tried to pass himself off as the boss of an air…

Spring Hill Woman Dies After Crash In Hernando County

SPRING HILL, Fla. – A 28-year-old Spring Hill woman has died after…

Tractor-trailer turnover closes eastbound lanes of I-26 near Gray | WJHL

GRAY, Tenn. (WJHL) — A flipped tractor-trailer closed all eastbound lanes of…

South Yorkshire Police appeal for help in hunt for man missing from Barnsley

He was last seen in Barnsley on Thursday night and officers are…

Same-sex marriage protection bill headed to Biden’s desk

The bill to protect same-sex unions had a robust and unexpected show…
New York Times braces for 24-hour newsroom strike, walkout by hundreds of journalist, employees

New York Times braces for 24-hour newsroom strike, walkout by hundreds of journalist, employees

NEW YORK — The New York Times is bracing for a 24-hour…
Trump Mar-a-Lago suit ends after former president declines to appeal ruling

Trump Mar-a-Lago suit ends after former president declines to appeal ruling

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump on Thursday declined to appeal a…

Judge unseals docs in gay bar shooting suspect’s past case

The Associated Press/Colleen Slevin Posted: Dec 8, 2022 / 11:16 AM CST…

Georgia Man Kills Wife’s Divorce Lawyer, Sets His Office on Fire: Cops

A Georgia man has been charged with killing his wife’s divorce attorney…