Taxes, SNCF, NDDL … What to Remember from Emmanuel Macron’s Interview on BFMTV

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French President Emmanuel Macron (C) before a TV interview with RMC-BFM journalists Jean-Jacques Bourdin (D) and Mediapart, Edwy Plenel (G), in the Palais de Chaillot in Paris on April 15th

President Emmanuel Macron gave a very tense river interview on Sunday evening on BFMTV. The main points to remember.

Sunday night, Emmanuel Macron gave a television interview in a sometimes electric atmosphere. For more than two hours, the president was subjected to a flood of questions, some of which resembled the questions of a debate and not an interview, by Jean-Jacques Bourdin (BFMTV and RMC) and Edwy Plenel (Mediapart).

This unprecedented tone for a televised interview was the opposite of that of Thursday on TF1, which marked the beginning of the media offensive launched by Emmanuel Macron to mark the first anniversary of his arrival at the Elysee.

“I hear all the anger,” he said, citing the rail workers, a dotted strike since early April. “It’s an anger that I understand, that I respect but that is related to a decision we make, that I assume, a reform that we will lead to the end,” he said.

He recalled that if he had “from the day of (his) investiture” raised the need to “reconcile the country”, it would not be done “overnight.”

“I feel like you the injustices,” insisted Emmanuel Macron face the insistent questions of the two interviewers on the economic and social reforms taken for a year, for which he is described as “president of the rich” by his opponents.

No new taxes

He defended the partial elimination of the TFR in order to “keep talent, attract and reinvest in our economy.”

Taxation will not increase during the five-year period and “there will be no creation of a new local tax, nor a national tax,”assured the head of state.

He also said there would be “no savings on the hospital in this five-year period” and that he would announce “early May” decisions to try to respond to the crisis of emergency services.

Recovery of the SNCF debt

Regarding the, Emmanuel Macron confirmed that the State would resume “gradually” part of the debt of the SNCF “from 1 January 2020” when the group would be reformed, without advancing any amount. This debt should then reach fifty billion euros.

For the host of the Elysee, students are “often in the minority” among those blocking universities to challenge the reform of access to higher education. He denounced “inadmissible” violence.

While new clashes took place Sunday in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, Emmanuel Macron furthermore held that the “anger” of the opponents of the expulsion of the Zad was “not legitimate”, and that “all what will have to be evacuated will be.

“Not war” with Assad

For almost half an hour, the president has justified the strikes carried out in the night from Friday to Saturday against chemical weapons production sites of the regime of Bashar al-Assad, saying that “it is the international community who intervened “. He said, however, that France had “not declared war on Bashar al-Assad’s regime.”

The president explained that he now wanted to “convince” the Russians and Turks to come to the negotiating table, insisting that he wanted to “speak with everyone” on the Syrian file.

He said Paris managed to convince US President Donald Trump to “stay the course” in Syria when he had recently signaled his intention to disengage his troops from the country.

“Amalgam”, “nonsense”

Throughout the interview, Jean-Jacques Bourdin and Edwy Plenel began their questions with “Emmanuel Macron” and not “Mr. President”, marking a break with the uses of presidential interviews of recent decades.

Calling the exercise “new”, Emmanuel Macron sometimes criticized the two journalists for “amalgam” or “nonsense” in their questions. Addressing Edwy Plenel, he did not hesitate to refer to Mediapart’s troubles with the IRS. “It’s totally mean,” the reporter replied.

On the social networks, the Net surfers were divided in front of the tone of the interview. Some applauded, as Philippe Moreau-Chevrolet, expert in political communication: “Finally a real presidential interview. There will be a before and after.

But Christian Estrosi, the mayor of Nice, saw “a caricature of interview”. Because “in trying to lower the presidential office, the journalists actually lower the function of journalist”.

“Incredible press interview. We no longer listen to the answers, we wait for the questions, “tweeted Jean-Luc Mélenchon (LFI).

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