Debate by French legislators on a proposed law to bar the unvaccinated from much of public life took what critics felt was a lavatorial turn when French President Emmanuel Macron used what has been described as divisive, vulgar language to convey his intention to make life difficult for unvaccinated people.
‘I really want to piss them off, and we’ll carry on doing this – to the end,’ he reportedly told Le Parisien newspaper.
The president’s comments brought debate (on measures to increase pressure on the unvaccinated) in the National Assembly to a standstill for a second night running, with opposition delegates complaining about Macron’s language.
One described his comments as being ‘unworthy, irresponsible and premeditated’.
The BBC reports that the legislation is expected to be approved in a vote this week, but that it has angered vaccine opponents, with several French MPs saying they have received death threats over the issue.
In his interview with Le Parisien on Tuesday, Macron said he hoped to encourage people to get vaccinated by ‘limiting as much as possible their access to activities in social life’.
He said: ‘I won’t send [unvaccinated people] to prison. So we need to tell them … you will no longer be able to go to the restaurant. You will no longer be able to go for a coffee, you will no longer be able to go to the theatre. You will no longer be able to go to the cinema.’
According to the BBC, the ‘airwaves in France’ were ‘shrill … with the sound of angry politicians’ reacting to Macron’s comments. ‘From left and right, moderate and extreme, opponents are outbidding each other in condemnation ….’