Special envoy to Bern (Switzerland)

Stung to the quick. Emmanuel Macron was greatly annoyed on Wednesday by the absence of Éric Ciotti at the second edition of his “Saint-Denis meetings” with party leaders, scheduled for this Friday. In an interview with Le Figaro on Tuesday, the president of the Republicans announced that he would ultimately not participate, specifying that the absence of the President of the Republic from the march against anti-Semitism had “finished (the) convince”. Very dry response from Emmanuel Macron: “Using the context we are experiencing to justify an absence from a working meeting on constitutional reforms is absolutely unworthy of a political leader.”

Guest of BFMTV a few moments later, the LR deputy for Alpes-Maritimes judged that “these terms express annoyance” as well as an “exceeding in the expression of certain limits on the part of the president.” And to refer the term “unworthy” to the head of state to describe his absence at Sunday’s march. “When we claim to bring together all the parties to express national unity, and when we do not know how to express it in a moment of such seriousness…” Eric Ciotti then mocked. Who is “not intended to be an extra in an Emmanuel Macron advertising spot” in Saint-Denis. “It’s just talk…”

In his criticism, the head of state also included the first secretary of the Socialist Party, Olivier Faure. “I note with some surprise that two leaders of so-called government parties, who had to govern France for decades before I was elected for the first time to the presidency of the French Republic, are choosing not to come to unprecedented meetings, those where a President of the Republic decides to work with political leaders of all sensibilities,” he declared, denouncing “a major political mistake.” In addition to Ciotti and Faure, the coordinator of La France insoumise, Manuel Bompard, is also boycotting the meeting.

“They will go and explain to their voters why they are not there when we discussed the evolution of article 11 of the referendum, decentralization, why they are not there when the President of the Republic saw fit to involve them on subjects essential to the life of the nation,” concluded Emmanuel Macron in an irritated tone.

The presidential entourage assured Tuesday that “the doors of this meeting will remain open to all those who have been invited.” But with three fewer opponents in the room, Emmanuel Macron cannot boast of repeating his “major political initiative” from the end of August, when he spoke for around twelve hours with all the leaders of the parties represented in The national assembly.