Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the Agriculture Show on February 22 was marked by an intense exchange with a demonstrator who introduced herself as a financial controller and confident that she had participated in the 67 mobilization Saturdays of the Yellow Vests.
“I experience war every Saturday. You don’t realize what’s going on and the police violence. I saw friends falling next to me just because they are fighting for their pensions, ”said the woman.
She asked the President to “Start to calm down the police”, to which Emmanuel Macron replied that, in urban areas, the situation was particularly “Tense” and that we had to put ourselves in the place of the police:
“I don’t think there are that many people on the street. Sometimes, too, you are angry at things that are not true, ”he said.
“You talk about democracy, be really democratic, please,” she continued before inviting Emmanuel Macron to take to the streets.
“Unfortunately, I have too much work to be able to come to the streets,” replied the President.
Despite these disagreements, when the demonstrator insisted that Emmanuel Macron did not receive the yellow vests, the head of state considered that he was “for dialogue” and proposed to his interlocutor to form a group of people with whom he would speak for an hour at the Elysée Palace “so that things calm down in the discussion”.
As for pension reform, Mr. Macron defended the bill against requests for a referendum. He also specified that he had never supported the establishment of the citizens’ initiative referendum (RIC), but that he was in favor of “lowering the threshold of the shared initiative referendum already in place ”and that he was ready to“ have a great debate ”on this issue.
Ending the exchange, Emmanuel Macron thanked the demonstrator for his “sincerity” and “the emotions that emerge”.