Barnier 'distinguishing himself from Macron' says Professor Shields
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Taking to Twitter, Mr Barnier spared no sympathy for Mr Macron’s handling of recent events. “France is not doing well. There is more and more tension, violence and even savagery. I want to bring a project of serenity, authority and results,” wrote Mr Barnier. Mr Barnier is running for The Republicans party in the 2022 presidential race.
Discussing the ongoing fishing dispute with Britain, the ex-EU negotiator famous for his policy writing for the bloc was equally critical of London.
“We negotiated for four years with the British until 24 December last year to reach a reasonable agreement on fisheries,” stated Mr Barnier.
“The treaty is 1,400 pages long. I am on the side of the European and French fishermen.”
“Everyone, at the time of signing, found this agreement to be balanced and reasonable… I think that the British government is not acting in good faith.”
He concluded on the topic: “It is quite serious that a large country like the UK does not honour its commitments.”
Mr Barnier did not hold back on his analysis of the French economy under former banker Emmanuel Macron.
“We are at nearly 3,000 billion in debt, which has increased considerably, not only because of Covid-19,” he said.
“A more virtuous and reversed trajectory will be needed,” he asserted.
“But you won’t hear me say that we have to reduce civil servants. Behind these figures, there are men and women who must be respected.”
President Macron was highly criticised for his handling of civil servant working conditions, in particular pensions.
Protests against the leader amalgamated with the Yellow Vest movement against the premier.
In an apparent move to protect France from an influx of migrants, Mr Bariner also questioned the notion of protecting France’s borders.
“For three to five years, to be able to review all the procedures that do not work, to treat this issue with humanity, but with rigour, and finally, to stop this flow of illegal immigration.”
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Mr Barnier then stated he wanted “To send a signal that not everyone can come to France, that we cannot accept everyone.”
With several high profile candidates now entering the race to the Élyseé Palace in 2022, Mr Barnier was also highly critical of yet to declare potential candidate Eric Zemmour, who is attracting more attention than others.
“Mr Zemmour is a polemicist, a writer, a columnist who promotes his book. I’m not interested in talking about him,” said Mr Barnier.
He added: “I have nothing to do with Mr Zemmour. The way he equates General de Gaulle and Marshal Pétain is absolutely scandalous. I have nothing to do with this person.”
The former EU negotiator’s policies have also received equal scrutiny.
Veteran Brussels correspondent for the leftwing Libération newspaper, Jean Quatremer, let rip with a blistering attack.
“His rallying behind a Frexit that dare not speak its name amounts to
political suicide, given that his European ‘brand’ was his selling point…” said the journalist.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega
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