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France

Macron postpones speech, French parties halt campaigning

media French President Emmanuel Macron Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS

As a result of the fire at Notre-Dame cathedral, French President Emmanuel Macron postponed a televised speech he was to have given last night on the results of the nationwide debate held over the past few months to address complaints from Yellow Vest protestors.

The preliminary results of the debate were presented last week. There were more than 1.9 million contributions to a designated online forum, 10.134 town hall meetings, 16,337 complaints books, 27,374 e-mails and letters with concerns and suggestions, and 21 citizen’s assemblies.

The comments were transcribed, digitised and made public. The OpinionWay polling institute processed contributions on-line while consulting companies  Roland Berger, Bluenove, and Cognito summarised the complaint books and the minutes of public meetings. Political think tanks the Res Publica foundation and Missions Publiques, analysed the contributions from the 21 regional citizens’s conferences.

President Macron was expected to reflect on these observations and possibly address the concenrs raised, notably on taxes and climate change. But just one hour before he was to appear on national television, news of the fire broke and the speech was cancelled.

European campaigns halted

Meanwhile, French political parties have halted campaigning for the European elections.

"We are living a moment of profound sadness. The Renaissance list joins this moment of national unity. We are suspending the campaign until further notice," Nathalie Loiseau, lead candidate of Emmanuel Macron's party, La République en Marche, tweeted on Tuesday morning. Public visits scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday have been cancelled.

The right-wing Les Républicains canceled a rally the party was due to hold on Tuesday evening in the southern city of Nîmes to launch their campaign.

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