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Emmanuel Macron’s power-grab backfires after move to extend emergency powers sparks uproar

Covid pass: Situation in France discussed by commentators

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Outrage has erupted in France amid anger directed at Emmanuel Macron’s latest Covid power-grab. The French Government on Friday confirmed it wants to maintain the power to impose the Covid health pass until July 31, 2022. RT’s Charlotte Dubenskij revealed that this could spark an explosion in the weekly protests that have rocked French cities in recent weeks.

Ms Dubenskij explained: “In France, weekly protests against health passes and mandatory vaccinations of health workers are continuing.

“Those protests could be about to get a boost after France’s Government announced it wants to extend the use of health passes up until the summer of 2022.”

Gerard Larcher, the French Senate President, told French TV recently: “They are not going to have a carte blanche until the 1st July 2022.

“Parliament must decide. It is an attack on collective and individual freedoms.

“In a parliamentary democracy, it can only be done by parliament.”

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The move also appears to contradict France’s own Covid scientific council which said health passes could be scrapped far sooner if the situation remains under control.

The council said: “The COVID pass system could be cancelled between November 15 and the end of the year if there are low case levels nationally.”

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said: “We make no apology for our refusal to disarm ourselves with regard to the health situation.”

The power-grab will have to be debated and passed by parliament before November 15, the date at which the current legal powers expire.

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France also announced it will be charging unvaccinated adults from 15 October for PCR tests, which were previously free.

The tests will cost €44 for unvaccinated adults without a prescription, who will have to pay out of their own pocket for these tests.

This comes as anger spread throughout Europe at “flip-flopping governments”.

This week Italy imposed the strictest measures in Europe after introducing the green pass for workers.

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Ms Dubenskij explained: “It had hoped to increase vaccination rates, but that has not materialised.

“Jab rates have seen a steep decline, with 2.5 million workers, or over 10 percent, still unvaccinated. There are concerns more violent rallies could ensue.”

The largest demonstrations were at the major northeastern port of Trieste, where labour groups had threatened to block operations.

Around 6,000 protesters, some chanting and carrying flares, gathered outside the gates.

The Italian green pass proves they have had either at least one vaccine dose, recovered from the illness in the last six months, or tested negative in the last 48 hours.

Any employees refusing to comply face suspension without pay and will not be able to access their workplace.

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