The French president spoke this Friday after having revealed the changes within the government team. Emmanuel Macron insisted on four “urgent” issues, which are the reconstruction after the riots related to the death of Nahel, the drought, energy prices and access to healthcare. In his cabinet, the ministers of Health and Education were replaced, among others, with the aim of providing “continuity and efficiency.”
French President Emmanuel Macron decided to reshuffle the government after difficult months, with demonstrations against the pension reform and the wave of violence that followed the death of the young Nahel at the hands of the police. Thus, this Friday, July 21, he expressed himself about the future of the country and the objectives for the coming months.
The president spoke at the first meeting of the Council of Ministers after the remodeling and defined four urgent issues for the coming weeks: the restoration of calm after the riots, droughts and fire risks, access to healthcare and purchasing power. He also asked his ministers to behave in an “exemplary” way.
Within the Government, the heads of the most political departments have not changed, nor has the Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, who received the support of the head of the Élysée.
“I have opted for continuity and efficiency for the times to come, clearly reaffirming my confidence in the prime minister,” Emmanuel Macron said at the start of the cabinet meeting.
“You have gone through the budgets, the pension reform, important texts on energy and the economy and then you have launched the ‘one hundred days’ roadmap,” the president stressed, addressing the prime minister.
Eight changes of ministers were decided by Macron and Borne. Among the most important is the departure of Pap Ndiaye from the Ministry of Education, being replaced by Gabriel Attal, who at 34 is the youngest to hold this position.
Aurélien Rousseau also arrives as Minister of Health, replacing François Braun, who barely exceeded a year in office.
Macron asks his ministers for responsibility and efficiency
Before his reformed Council of Ministers, Macron called on everyone to make decisions and actions more quickly and to put efficiency at the center of their work.
“Ministers manage their administration. Being a minister is not speaking in office,” declared the head of state.
The president also recalled that the life and behavior of each minister is publicly scrutinized and asked them to be exemplary. In addition, he advised them to work close to the street and the people.
“Essential administrations must be managed as close as possible to the field: central administration, local administrations. And the more we deconcentrate, the more we put decisions at the service of the field, the more convincing the results will be,” Macron added.
Four pressing issues
The French president listed the urgent issues for the coming weeks, the main one being the consequences of the riots that followed the death of the young Nahel by police violence.
He promised to “provide profound responses to the riots” with “authority, respect and legitimate hope.” He also stated that he will continue to support children and families in neighborhoods affected by violence.
France was rocked by a wave of protests and violence after the June 27 death of Nahel at the hands of police as he tried to escape a traffic checkpoint.
Macron maintained that it will be necessary to “draw the lessons from what has happened” and “provide in-depth answers”, insisting on the risk of “fragmentation” and “division” of the nation.
Another central issue evoked by the Élysée leader was the drought and the risk of fires, for which Christophe Béchu, as Minister of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion, and the head of the Interior Gérald Darmanin are responsible.
Finally, the French president insisted on the issue of energy prices and purchasing power, as well as access to healthcare.
“The third part is the purchasing power with energy prices that will rise this summer, even if they rise much less quickly and less sharply than in our neighbors,” Macron justified.
Meanwhile, as the new Minister of Health, Aurélien Rousseau’s priority will be to allow better working conditions in hospitals and better access to care.
“Finally, the fourth issue of attention will be emergencies and access to healthcare (…) We will have to remain attentive to certain emergency services (…) and to each territory,” the president stressed.
Four long-term goals
Emmanuel Macron also defined several objectives for the next years of his mandate. In addition to “republican order,” he prioritized “reindustrialization and full employment.”
“Only by producing more, by consolidating independence, will we be able to continue having a social model that is one of the most generous in the world, but that must be made fairer, that is, correct starting inequalities,” said the French head of state.
He also insisted on the reform of the school system. The new Minister of Education, Gabriel Attal, will have to deal with the shortage of teachers, the fight against bullying and the revision of the baccalaureate.
Finally, the ecological transition should be at the center of concerns. Macron pointed out that they are working “at full speed” in the fight against the climate crisis, an opinion not shared by society that considers the efforts of its Executive in this area highly insufficient.
By choosing more political profiles in several key ministries, Macron hopes he can govern more efficiently, put behind the turbulent months that marked the start of his second term and focus on the reforms to come.
With EFE, AFP and local media