Macron's gamble: Should France have locked down sooner?


Did Emmanuel Macron's January gamble pay off, as he still claims? The French president insists he was right to leave schools and businesses open after a post-Christmas spike in Covid-19 cases. Now, fuelled by contagious new variants, the so-called third wave is forcing the government to cut classroom time and move up Easter vacation.


We ask about Macron's all-but-in-name new national lockdown, his timetable for vaccinations and a promise the nation's grand reopening in full will be for mid-July. On that score, we compare with European neighbours grappling with the same unenviable dilemmas. Finally, how do you turn a crisis into an opportunity?

France on its own cannot just drop $2 trillion stimulus plans like the one announced on Wednesday by US President Joe Biden. But it is going to have to come up with its own answers to narrowing an inequality gap between the haves who can escape to their country retreats and the have-nots, a gap that stretches each time the country closes down.


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