The president (ex-LR) of Hauts-de-France Xavier Bertrand, declared candidate for the 2022 presidential election, accused Emmanuel Macron this Sunday of “learning nothing from his mistakes” on the Covid-19 crisis and estimated that he should “never have asked” Europe to manage vaccines.
“There is worse than not wanting to recognize your mistakes, it’s not to learn anything from your mistakes,” said Xavier Bertrand on Europe 1 / Cnews / Les Echos. “How do you expect there to be trust with the French people afterwards?” He asked. “Look at the contrast with (German Chancellor) Angela Merkel who is the benchmark for the attitude of the rulers in relation to their people”, he continued, while the head of state refused any mea culpa, in particular on its decision not to reconfine at the end of January.
The right time to take responsibility
On vaccination, “the initial strategy was not the right one,” said Xavier Bertrand. First, because “we were reluctant to pay a high price for vaccines”. Then because “Emmanuel Macron should never have asked that it is Europe which manages (the order of vaccines) instead of the States”. Should the European countries have gone there each for themselves? “Of course,” he replied.
Asked about the timing of his candidacy for the Elysee Palace, formalized on Wednesday, the former minister felt that it was the right time to “take (s) his responsibilities”. He made his re-election in Hauts-de-France during the regional scheduled for June a sine qua non of his candidacy. “Why is this regional election important to me? Because it’s legitimacy. If six million French people did not trust me, it is impossible to meet 67 million French people, ”he said.
A thought for the Hauts-de-France anyway
“Voters in Hauts-de-France have understood that if we really want to change things, it happens at the top of the state,” he added. While his candidacy rekindles tensions within a right still recovering after two presidential failures, he again said he was opposed to holding a primary, persuaded to “unite each other” around his “project”, knowing that several other actors such as Valérie Pécresse, Bruno Retailleau, Laurent Wauquiez or Michel Barnier, have expressed their interest in 2022.
On his program, Xavier Bertrand insisted on the “reestablishment of authority” without which “there will be no security”, repeated that he wanted to lower the age of criminal majority to 15 years and insisted that “ national identity is not negotiable ”. He also intends to resort more to the referendum and pleads for a single presidential mandate.