After spending good months amid international controversy over his Islamophobic stance, French President Emmanuel Macron now wants to anger his own citizens amid COVID restrictions.

In a recent interview with Le Parisien about his policies on COVID-related activities, Macron said, “I won’t send [unvaccinated people] to prison. So we need to tell them, from January 15 on, you will no longer be able to go to the restaurant. You will no longer be able to go for a coffee, you will no longer be able to go to the theatre. You will no longer be able to go to the cinema,” mentioning how he would absolutely not “vaccinate by force” his nation, but he hopes to push people in the right direction by “limiting as much as possible their access to activities in social life.”

His exact words have been as bad as the opposition could make it to exaggerate the point, he used a vulgar slang term ‘emmerder’ that has sparked outrage, with several accusing him of being divisive and not-president-like, to loosely articulate it.

France is three months away from its presidential election, a very critical point for any candidate in the race, as it should be, and opponents have already started campaigning him and his words as “unworthy of a president.” Even though Macron has not announced whether he has the intention to run once again, this moment of opposition puts him at a rather negative angle for the vaccine opposing side of the voter base. He said to the Le Parisien newspaper, “I really want to piss them off, and we’ll carry on doing this – to the end.”

Even though Macron
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“A president shouldn’t say that… Emmanuel Macron is unworthy of his office,” said far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen in a tweet.

The opposition party especially has been up in arms about his language, so much so that a National Assembly session on the topic of restricting unvaccinated individuals from public life, had to be halted for the second night running. One of the leaders from the opposition called Macron, “unworthy, irresponsible and premeditated” after his casual mention of a slang word that has angered opponents and anti-vaxxers.

MPs reported having received several death threats over the matter. While several countries in Europe are taking the mandatory vaccine requirement approach to get their citizenry vaccinated and protected against the virus, France is taking another approach of pressuring and restricting people, forcing them to get vaccinated if they want to enjoy the luxuries of the public space.