Emmanuel Macron disaster: French do not trust President with vaccine rollout – new poll

Macron slammed by French residents for slow EU vaccine rollout

In a Harris Interactive/Euros Agency poll, obtained by Politico, just 45 percent of respondents said they trusted Emmanuel Macron’s government to handle coronavirus vaccination. Only 19 percent of voters leaning toward Marine Le Pen said they trusted the government to handle the vaccination programme. Asked whether they had concerns about the French President’s vaccination campaign, 77 percent of respondents said yes.

The European Union received a higher score than President Macron, with 52 percent of the respondents saying they trusted Brussels on the matter of vaccination.

Pharma companies also fared better than the government, at 50 percent.

The online poll was conducted between January 26 and 28 with a representative sample of 1,017 respondents.

An even more worrying poll by Ipsos, which surveyed 1,000 people, saw just 35 percent approve of Mr Macron.

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President Macron has been under attack in France over the sluggish rollout of coronavirus vaccinations.

The country is still lagging behind its European partners with just over two million vaccine doses administered against over three million in Germany and over 12 million in the UK.

The French leader said on Friday that he backed Europe’s centralised approach to buying COVID-19 vaccines and that it would have been wrong to take a nation-by-nation one.

He also told a news conference following a virtual meeting of the France-German Defence and Security Council that, though the European Union faced vaccine production constraints, the situation would improve from April.

Mr Macron was also ruthlessly attacked after he claimed the AstraZeneca vaccine seemed to be “quasi-ineffective” for those above the age of 65, a comment made just before the EU approved its usage on all adults in the bloc.

The Frenchman’s remark saw an already fierce dispute between AstraZeneca, the UK and the EU deepen, with the bloc demanding the pharmaceutical company divert UK-made jabs.

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The request was made as a manufacturing shortfall inside Europe had sent member states into panic over when their citizens would receive a vaccination.

Mr Macron risked the anger of other EU nations, as well as the bloc’s drug regulator, as he said “the real problem on AstraZeneca is that it doesn’t work in the way we were expecting it to”.

His approval rating was already declining, and Mr Macron was expected to be firm in his handling of the coronavirus vaccination rollout particularly as France heads to the polls next year.

Many consider next year’s election in France too tight to call, with some expecting Mr Macron to face defeat to conservative Marine Le Pen, particularly as no President has won a second term in 20 years.

Another challenge faced in next year’s election will be the rise of euroscepticism, led by figures such as Ms Le Pen.

The French President agreed in a call with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday that a successful global vaccination programme required a collaborative effort between governments, a spokeswoman for the British leader said.

The call between the two leaders follows criticism by French officials over Britain’s vaccination programme and comes just a week after the European Union threatened to impose a hard border on the island of Ireland to protect its vaccine supply.

Brussels swiftly withdrew that threat.

“The leaders discussed the fight against coronavirus,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.

“The leaders agreed that a successful global vaccination programme will require a collaborative effort between governments.”

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