French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday that he stands by the controversial remarks he made earlier in the week, vowing to “piss off” the nation’s citizens refusing the COVID-19 vaccine.
Macron, who is expected to seek re-election later this year, faced backlash after making the remarks during a news conference in Paris on Friday.
The French president acknowledged his words may have upset some, but stood by his remarks. “When some make from their freedom … a motto, not only do they put others’ lives at risk, but they are also curtailing others’ freedom. That I cannot accept,” he said in reference to unvaccinated people, the Associated Press reported.
“When you are a citizen you must agree to do your civic duty,” Macron added.
“About 77% of the population, including more than 91% of adults, are fully vaccinated,” according to the report.
The French government is currently debating new vaccine law which would restrict activities for unvaccinated citizens. The new laws would exclude unvaccinated people from restaurants, sporting events and other public venues.
The debate will continue in the French Senate next week, with plans to finalize the legislation by the middle of the month, the Associated Press reports.
Macron is expected to announce his plans to seek re-election in April, but has not formally revealed his decision. “There is no false suspense. I want to,” Macron said, according to a France 24 report on Tuesday. “Once the health situation allows it and I have made everything clear — inside myself and with respect to the political equation — I will say what it (the decision) is.”
Rebel News previously reported a more accurate translation of what Macron said in his original comments last week:
Given the mild coverage of Macron’s speech, one might wonder what the French are so upset about. To that end, The Independent's Jon Stone says that much has been lost in translation.
“English language press grappling with reporting Macron saying he wants to ‘«Emmerder» the unvaccinated is quite funny. Most going with ‘piss off’ and others ‘hassle’… of course it literally means ‘to sh*t on,'” explained the reporter. As detailed by the Associated Press, the French president used the vulgar word “emmerder,” which means to “sh*t on.”