How can we put together the different islands of a country that is said to be fractured? This is the task that Emmanuel Macron has set himself. If the international context, with regard to the war in Israel and Hamas, and societal tragedies, such as the death of young Thomas, have further widened the gap between two France in recent weeks, the President of the Republic does not admit defeat. In confidences granted to the newspaper Le Monde, and published this Friday evening, the head of state returned to the unitary challenge that awaits him, on the sidelines of a visit on Thursday to the Pantheon to choose the vault that will house the resistance fighter Missak Manouchian in February 2024.
While a ceremony will be held on this occasion, as for the previous entries of the writer Maurice Genevoix or the magazine leader and resistance fighter Josephine Baker, the president intends to make this moment a symbol. An incarnation at a time when the nation "is asking itself a lot of questions", considers the head of state. Well aware that the divisions are deep, Emmanuel Macron has "assigned himself a role". That of "holding the country together".
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"The French know who they are"
This is a way of not leaving the monopoly of identity issues to the nationalist right, which would feed the hypothesis of a "civil war". To remedy this, the president will send a "message of unity" to the French people on the sensitive issue of living together. Without specifying the specific contours, the tenant of the Élysée Palace announced "a meeting with the nation" next January. To "remind France of itself, of what it is". And "what constitutes us" as a people.
This urgency is all the more crucial as Emmanuel Macron's second term ends in three and a half years. Despite this deadline, the president insists: "We must restore hope, a taste for the future." Almost a campaign speech. In the context of this enigmatic "meeting", the head of state praises a "demanding lucidity that will consist of looking at the country's problems but also of not letting it dismantle itself." True to his philosophy of "at the same time", he hopes above all to make his way "between thedenial" of part of the left and the "hyper-dramatization" of the nationalist right.
Emmanuel Macron may praise "how the country is holding itself" despite the national and international upheavals, unlike other nations, but the president nevertheless blames certain "elites". Which "play on fears" and "maintain the confusion of minds". "The French are people who know deeply who they are, much more than we would like to say."