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French parliament slams government’s coronavirus response

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Emmanuel Macron tests positive for COVID-19 and is self-isolating
French president, Emmanuel Macron

The French parliament on Thursday massively criticized the coronavirus crisis management of President Emmanuel Macron’s government, the day after he announced new national restrictions.

“We are not here to recognize your repeated failures,” said Damien Abad, head of the Republican faction in parliament, after a speech by Prime Minister Jean Castex.

Left-wing politician Jean-Luc Melenchon criticized Macron for taking decisions alone.

Castex presented new restrictions to parliament that were announced the night before. Many locally imposed rules, such as shop closures, are to be extended across the whole country for four weeks, and schools are to be shut for three.

Castex defended the new rules. “The third wave is here and is hitting us hard,” he said.

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Parliament approved the measures by 348 votes in favour, with only nine votes against. Some factions of the opposition did not take part in the vote, which is not binding for the government. There is also to be a vote in the Senate, the upper house.

France has been hit hard by the pandemic, with its neighbour Germany recently classifying it as a high-risk country and imposing travel curbs. Almost 95,700 people have died after being infected with the coronavirus in France, a country of 67 million people.

DPA

Vanguard News Nigeria

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