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Macron prepares for French revolt: Voters lose patience with leader over hated crackdown

3 min read

Vaccine passport protestors descend on Marble Arch

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Government spokesperson Gabriel Attal announced yesterday that France hoped for the vaccination pass to be adopted by the end of January, warning that those who are not vaccinated will “live in almost isolation”. The new pass will replace the French health pass, which currently requires proof of full vaccination, proof of a test less than 72 hours old or proof of recovery from COVID-19 more than 11 days ago and less than 180 days ago.

On Friday evening, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that the government will submit a bill at the beginning of January to “transform the health pass into a vaccination pass and to tighten the conditions of control and sanction against false passes.”

Under the new plans, full vaccination would be a compulsory condition of acquiring the pass.

Writing on Twitter, Mr Attal said: “We want vaccinated people to be able to live almost normally, which implies that those who are not vaccinated will live in almost isolation.”

But the French public has shown strong opposition to the plans, demonstrated through a number of protests in recent weeks.

Horrific clashes between protesters and riot police were caught on camera last Monday, with footage shared on social media of violent altercations taking place at the demonstrations.

This marks the fifth successive Saturday in which the streets of France have been dominated by the protests, centred around opposition to coercive vaccination and lockdown measures.

French politicians also hit out at the new plans, with Joffrey Bollee, from the Eurosceptic party Les Patriotes, writing on Twitter: “Can we use the words ‘apartheid’ and ‘segregation’ or do we let @GabrielAttal do it himself?”

He added: “The Shame Pass is taking a permanent hold on our lives.

“It is neither temporary nor sanitary.

“What difference has it made to the country’s health situation?

“Who even asks the question today? Total madness!”

MEP Jordan Bardella agreed, writing: “With the introduction of the vaccine pass, the government continues to trample on the individual freedoms of the French, without any reasonable health justification.

“Rassemblement National will oppose it and we will abolish it if we come to power.”

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Louis Aliot, mayor of Perpignan, added: “The Vaccine Pass is one more fracture in French society.

“We cannot make differences between vaccinated and non-vaccinated people.”

According to Mr Attal, Mr Macron hopes the bill will be “definitively adopted and promulgated before the end of January so that it can come into force immediately.”

Speaking about the new pass, Mr Castex said: “The fifth wave is here.

“The Omicron variant is developing rapidly in Europe.

“It will spread very quickly and could become dominant in France in January.

“I call on everyone to be responsible and avoid large gatherings.

“To face the delta or Omicron virus, our only weapon is vaccination, with three doses from now on.

“We have decided on a bill to transform the health pass into a vaccination pass”.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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