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Postponement of the visit of Charles III: at the heart of the crisis, the admission of helplessness


After numerous scenes of violence on Thursday, the dark scenario of an uncontrollable movement took hold at the top of the state.

The decision had been maturing for a few days, it fell on Friday at the end of the morning.

After a fifteen-minute phone call between the President of the Republic and the King of England, the Elysée Palace and Downing Street announced the postponement of Charles III's state visit to France.

Scheduled over three days, the first trip abroad of the British sovereign hit head-on a movement against pension reform, in full radicalization.


From the moment when the inter-union announced a new day of mobilization on Tuesday, and that the king's visit was scheduled for Monday to Wednesday, we would not be serious and we would lack a certain common sense to propose to His Majesty the king and queen consort to come and make a state visit in the midst of the demonstrations

, explained Emmanuel Macron on Friday, from Brussels, where he was taking part in the European Council.

What would have been detestable, for the British people as well as for ourselves, would have been if we decided to maintain as if nothing had happened, with incidents as a result


Read also“Postponement of the arrival of Charles III or humiliated France”

The risk was proven.

He had been worrying the British authorities for several days, in permanent contact with France, like the Sherpas of the two countries.

Buckingham had started to emit a few calls from the headlights to signal his concern

”, we confide in the entourage of the head of state, where we are working on a new date “

at the beginning of the summer


The riots on Thursday, on the sidelines of the ninth day of mobilization, and the call for new demonstrations on Tuesday March 28, won the decision of both parties.

But it was Emmanuel Macron who decided.

He was told, in Paris, of these fires which threatened a building on rue Saint-Marc on Thursday.

In Bordeaux, the door of the town hall was ravaged by fire.

In Rouen, a demonstrator saw her thumb ripped off after a disencirclement grenade shot.

In Lorient, opponents of the reform targeted a police station, while others, in Nantes, invaded the administrative court.

We will not give in to violence

”, warned Emmanuel Macron on Friday, convinced that “

the country cannot be stopped

” and anxious to “

move forward


A question of images

At the same time, feedback from the services reported spectacular actions being prepared by far-left movements for the visit of Charles III.


At no time, the physical integrity of the king would have been called into question

", one insists in the entourage of the head of state.

But there is no question of undergoing a war of images imposed by the thugs.

Conversely, there is no question either of offering images that are completely out of step with the situation in the country, such as those of the president dining with the king under the gold of the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles.

Those who reproach us today for having postponed the visit are the same who would have accused us tomorrow of irresponsibility if we had maintained the event

”, squeaks a close friend of the president.

Read alsoRetreats: the left mocks the postponement of the visit of Charles III

At the top of the state, the black scenario of an uncontrollable movement has taken hold.

So now that his agenda has lightened up, at least for the start of the week, Emmanuel Macron opens the door to the unions.

From Brussels, the Head of State said he was "

at the disposal of the inter-union

" to discuss everything, with a view to the future "full employment" law.

Except pensions.

I indicated our availability to move forward on subjects such as professional wear and tear, career endings, retraining, career development, working conditions, remuneration in certain branches, he explained


I am totally available, as well as the government, to move forward on these subjects immediately


Way to be more flexible than during his televised intervention on Wednesday.

Macron missed his bet

This interview on TF1 and France 2 was presented by some of his relatives as an "

appeasement operation

", but Emmanuel Macron missed his bet.

The protest did not finally weaken: between 1.08 million - according to the Ministry of the Interior - and 3.5 million demonstrators - according to the CGT - marched in the streets on Thursday, a week after the use of Article 49.3 of the Constitution.

Enough for the rebellious Jean-Luc Mélenchon to salute the social mobilization "

the largest since May 1968


By being inflexible on Wednesday, Emmanuel Macron was accused by his opponents of "

putting oil on the fire



It needed humility and empathy on the form: that's what sinned

", recognizes a Renaissance executive.

The head of state then rushed the unions, deploring that they had not offered any "


" on pension reform.

His security posture - "

We can not accept either the rebels

or the factions

", he declared - is also pointed out by the anti-reform.

Talking about factionalism is unacceptable from a President of the Republic

,” lambasted former socialist minister Martine Aubry on Thursday, alongside demonstrators in his city of Lille.

This radicalization must be dealt with before it turns into real violence

A member of the government

In addition to the violence committed by the thugs, executive officials are concerned about the hardening of the trade union movement.

Occupation of railway tracks, blocking of roads, strikes in refineries... "

We must deal with this radicalization before it turns into real violence

", warns a member of the government.

Sign of the urgency, Elisabeth Borne called a meeting on Thursday with her ministers Gérald Darmanin, Agnès Pannier-Runacher (Energy Transition) and Clément Beaune (Transport).

The supply of Ile-de-France by the large TotalEnergies refinery resumed on Friday, after an intervention by the police.

But concern persists in Normandy, where the CGT announced the shutdown of the Esso-ExxonMobil refinery on Saturday.

In the absence of appeasement obtained by Emmanuel Macron, his supporters are in turn trying to bring the pressure down.

Everyone must call for calm

,” asked the President of the National Assembly, Yaël Braun-Pivet, on Friday.

Other macronists call for a "


" from the head of state.


We can suspend the promulgation of the law

," said Renaissance MP Éric Bothorel, a member of the left wing of the majority.


It can be a gesture, before resuming dialogue with the unions."

What former Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve suggested on Friday, calling for the


of the reform


Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-03-24

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