SOCIAL: In several European countries, the restrictive measures for confinement have led to protest movements, sometimes leading to clashes with the police.
- As the coronavirus circulates actively across Europe, governments are taking restrictive measures everywhere.
- These announcements led to massive mobilizations in several European countries, sometimes leading to clashes with the police.
- In France, anger is confined for the moment to only social networks.
The coronavirus epidemic continues to expand. In Europe, the number of new cases has jumped 41% over the past week, representing half of the contaminations reported in the last seven days worldwide. Governments everywhere are taking restrictive measures, sometimes going as far as confinement . These announcements and the fear of social breakdown have provoked movements of revolt in Spain, Italy , or the Czech Republic, sometimes leading to clashes between the demonstrators and the police. Smaller protests also took place in Austria, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.
he five-year term of Emmanuel Macron was marked by the movement of “yellow vests” and large-scale social movements, in particular against the pension reform . But France has, for the moment, not experienced a massive mobilization against the tightening of health measures.
“We are acclimated to a form of loss of freedoms and constraints”
Since the return of confinement on Wednesday , some gatherings have taken place, in Paris and in several other cities such as Toulouse or Nantes, but sporadically. The quarantine measures decreed Wednesday prohibit, it is true, to move away from more than 1 km from his home, and make any demonstration difficult.
— Charles Baudry (@CharlesBaudry) October 29, 2020
“I do not feel on the ground a very frontal opposition against the restrictive measures, nor to mount a strong protest movement as in other countries”, testifies the Communist deputy André Chassaigne. “We are acclimated to a form of loss of freedoms, of constraints, of leaving common law, where security prevails over freedom. The dysfunctions and the procrastination of the government cause a loss of confidence in the political, and lead some to give up, to bow down, to find answers more at the individual and family level. ”
The ex-LREM Frédérique Dumas, member of the Libertés et Territoires group, warns, however: “Let us not forget that we have known the” yellow vests “, the 49-3 on pensions… There is mistrust and anger in a large part of the population. I don’t know if this will translate into protests, but there is sometimes a feeling of excessive curtailment of freedoms and disconnection on the part of the government ”.
The anger of small traders
This feeling of injustice has been illustrated in recent days by the revolt of small traders, forced to close shop, with the support of many local elected officials. To ease tensions, the government hastened to announce the closure of so-called non-essential shelves of supermarkets. The executive wants at all costs to avoid adding a social crisis to the health, economic and security crises. To feel the pulse of the population, the Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin would have, according to Le Figaro, probed a handful of mayors to whom he is close to assess “the acceptance of confinement in general” in their city. A sign of worry?
An Elabe poll published Friday indicated that only 67% of French people approved the confinement announced by the government. A figure far from the 93%, noted during the first confinement last March. In addition, only 42% of those questioned would trust the government to manage the crisis, according to the same survey.
“The anger is there. The lies of the government on the stocks of masks, in particular, caused a strong distrust. This is problematic because there will not be health discipline respected without consent in the action of the executive. And this support must also go through stronger social measures, “says rebellious MP Mathilde Panot. On social networks, several messages still call for more mobilisation against the government’s measures.