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Macron promises “efficiency”, “order” and “civility” to relaunch his second term

Ludovic Marin Agence France-Presse On Tuesday, President Emmanuel Macron insisted on his desire for a “stronger and fairer France” at the opening of a press conference called at the Élysée in front of hundreds of journalists and broadcast by numerous TV channels.

Joris Fioriti – Agence France-Presse in Paris

January 16, 2024

  • Europe

The French President, Emmanuel Macron, looking for breathing space for his second term, on Tuesday called for “efficiency”, “order” and “civility” in France, and assured Ukraine of his support abroad, notably via new missile deliveries.

“The biggest risk in my eyes is the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. We cannot let Russia win, because then the very security of Europe and the entire Russian neighborhood would be called into question,” the head of state said at a press conference lasting more than two hours.

“This is the main subject in my eyes for mobilization,” he continued, announcing that he himself would go “to Ukraine in February,” and that France was going to make “new deliveries: around forty of [long-range] Scalp missiles and several hundred bombs” for kyiv.

Almost two years after the Russian invasion, while the front line has been generally immobile in Ukraine for several months and the risk of weariness is growing in the West, Emmanuel Macron also spoke out on the another major conflict of the moment. He warned Israel against continuing insufficiently targeted raids in Gaza.

Some 24,285 people, according to the Hamas government, were killed by Israeli bombings and military operations, carried out in retaliation for Hamas' unprecedented attacks in Israel on October 7, which killed some 1,140 dead, mainly civilians, according to an AFP count.

“To continue operations today as they are being conducted is to take a long-term risk, given what this creates throughout the region, for the security of Israel itself,” argued Emmanuel Macron.

As fears grow over a regional conflagration, with Iran and the movements it supports intensifying their attacks in solidarity with Gaza and Hamas, Paris has “decided not to join” the strikes by the American-British coalition against the Houthis in Yemen to “avoid any escalation”, justified Mr. Macron.

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Education and “citizenship”

The French head of state, in difficulty a year and a half after the start of his second five-year term, has also announced a battery of measures in France, particularly in the field of Education.

He thus announced that the single outfit for students – a recurring debate, and with very political connotations, in France – would be tested this year in around a hundred voluntary schools. He also spoke out in favor of teaching the national anthem, the Marseillaise, “from primary school” [6-11 years old], another measure rather requested on the right.

National Education, presented as the “mother of battles” of the second term, is up against its new minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, who, barely appointed, justified the schooling of her children in the private sector with remarks considered contemptuous for public teachers.


Booed Tuesday morning as she entered and then left a Parisian public school in which one of her children was briefly educated, Ms. Oudéa-Castéra presented her “apologies” to the teachers that she “regrets” being “hurt.” The president defended his minister, who “was right to apologize”, and assured her of his “indulgence”.

Emmanuel Macron also promised “order”, by “better controlling our borders, by fighting against incivility thanks to a doubling of the police presence in our streets, by fighting against drugs, by fighting against radical Islam” . He announced that he wanted “ten operations per week” in France against drug trafficking.

Since the start of the second five-year term, difficulties have accumulated for the Head of State, who only has a relative majority in the National Assembly, and faces the rise of extreme right that he had nevertheless promised to defeat.

The National Rally (RN, far right), the main opposition party and favorite in the next European elections, is “the party of easy anger”, he criticized, “the party of collective impoverishment”, “the party of transformism” on European issues, where its political line is evolving.

The opposition criticized the speech of the Head of State, with the leader of the ecologists Marine Tondelier denouncing a “lunar and paternalistic general policy speech”.

The boss of the Republicans (right) Éric Ciotti deplored that “the ambitions” were “as monumental as the announcements are modest”, while the far-right leader Marine Le Pen criticized “yet another and endless chatter, a self-confidence without height, without vision and above all without solutions to the critical problems of the French”.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116