In boxing, dodging is an art. In politics, another type of combat sport, it is one too. Heard on Wednesday afternoon by the National Assembly’s commission of inquiry into the management of the Covid crisis, Edouard Philippe was just as skillful and educator as he was sometimes fleeing.
The mayor of Le Havre, heard for his quality of Prime Minister during the first wave of the epidemic, returned to the sensitive decisions taken by the executive, by systematically trying to recall the difficulty of making decisions in the face of a virus at the time very little known. “Let us allow ourselves the humility to say that the crisis is not over, and that it is difficult to say what would have been a success or a failure”, defended Philippe. According to him, “the way we have handled the crisis, the government and the country, has saved a lot of lives”.
Regarding the maintenance of the first round of municipal elections, no regrets. “I do not believe that we can change the date of the elections if we do not have a political consensus or a scientific consensus”, recalled Edouard Philippe. And to underline, stung to the heart, the difficulty of making decisions when “the criminal risk” which is linked to it rests entirely on the government. Not to mention the “real anxieties” felt at the peak of the pandemic: “When hospital directors tell you in 36 hours, I have more curare and I have a full intensive care unit, you are not exactly relaxed ”.
Very critical point of the management of the executive, Edouard Philippe assumed to have said “that the wearing of the mask (Editor’s note: in the public space) made no sense […] because doctors had told me so, because it was the doctrine that did not change until much later ”. If he also recognized differences of opinion with Emmanuel Macron on certain subjects, he repeated that the executive as a whole was always in solidarity with each of the decisions taken.
“We would have liked it to be more precise”
“Edouard Philippe proved to be equal to himself. He cleverly tried to position himself on an externalized analysis of the Covid crisis. This allowed him, because of the length of his answers, to avoid the most embarrassing points – the contradictions on the wearing of the mask, the non-postponement of municipal elections ”, comments the deputy (LR) of Vaucluse Julien Aubert, present during the hearing. “He spoke to us with restraint. If we expected more from him, we can be disappointed. We would have liked it to be more precise, ”deplores for his part Pierre Dharréville, deputy (PCF) of Bouches-du-Rhône and one of the secretaries of the committee.
More or less the same look for Eric Ciotti, deputy (LR) of the Alpes-Maritimes and rapporteur of the committee. “In terms of form, it was a quality service. Basically, I remain skeptical about the absence of the executive’s view of strategic stocks (Editor’s note: health products, like masks). Never in three years in power, they have paid no attention to it, ”asks Parisian Eric Ciotti. Edouard Philippe has been asked several times about alerts on the critical level of these stocks, and has kicked in touch almost as many times.
The commission of inquiry, which will end in December, must hear Christophe Castaner this Thursday (he was Minister of the Interior), Olivier Véran (Health) the following week, and finally Jean Castex on November 3… at the time ” M. Déconfinement ”of the government, today the Prime Minister of the curfew.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr