French President Emmanuel Macron pulled no punches in his speech to French journalists this week.
“You need a set of rules, he told the assembled press corps, some principles, an ethics code,” The New York Times reports. “And besides, you give too much weight to off-record quotes when it’s the official word that counts.”
The Times referred to Macron's “scolding” of the French media as “audacious,” noting that such things have become his “style” these days.
During the speech, he also announced a new law addressing the issue of “fake news” in the French media.
French opposition to Macron and policy agenda are weak, and he has firm support in the French Parliament, which the Times seemingly laments:
For now, he is the undisputed master of French politics and his absolute self-confidence — critics say, arrogance — is undaunted, when it comes to French journalism, its labor code, migration or almost anything else.
Another area where Macron pulled no punches was the issue of immigration.
“I can’t tell my middle classes who work, who pay taxes, that it’s great, we’re going to welcome everybody into the country,” Macron said, according to the Times.
Macron's “sharp-elbowed” policy on immigration is a big change from that of Francois Hollande, his Socialist predecessor.
“We can’t take in everybody,” Macron said, according to the Times.
“There must be rules. It’s indispensable that we check the identities of everyone, and when someone arrives in our country who is not eligible for asylum and has no chance of getting French citizenship, we can’t accept that they stay for months, years, in an irregular situation good for neither them nor the country.”
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