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France. Ministers wanted to promote energy saving, criticized for paternalism

French ministers – who were photographed on Thursday wearing down jackets, sweaters and turtlenecks meeting President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace – were criticized for trying to educate citizens struggling with the energy crisis.

Far right Marine Le Penwhich heads the largest opposition party in parliament, compared the ministers to the French Queen Marie Antoinette, writing on Twitter: “They have nothing to warm up? Let them wear cashmere.”

When the president of France Emmanuel Macron He said that people will have to save energy and heat less – Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne surprised citizens with her outfit (zippered down jacket) during a meeting in her office.

The prime minister began to dress warmer after the statements of the economy and finance minister Bruno Le Maire, who was asked during a radio broadcast whether state offices – like schools – would delay turning on the heating until December.

Le Maire said everyone saves energy. – So you won’t see me in a suit and tie anymore, but in a turtleneck. I think it will be very good, it will allow us to save energy – said the minister.

In turn, the minister for energy transformation, Agnes Pannier-Runacher, appeared at the party alongside the prime minister wearing a turtleneck, a thin down jacket and a jacket.

Criticism of ineffective promotion of energy saving

Gaspard Gantzer, former communications adviser to President Francois Hollande, said it was a “grotesque” and “paternalistic” form of communication. – It’s an element like: “Dear children, do like your parents, wear sweaters” – he commented.

– I do not expect the minister of the sixth or seventh economy in the world to make me wear a polo shirt. This is a task for my mother or grandmother, said the ecomonist Thomas Porcher in an interview with Radio France. The main problem, he added, is how France organized its energy sector.

Elisabeth Borne, Emmanuel Macron and Amelie Oudea-Castera at a meeting at the Elysee PalaceBENOIT TESSIER / PAP / EPA

In turn, Paris MP Gilles Le Gendre from the centrist Macron party said that the government had lost touch with reality. He assessed that politicians should lead, first and foremost, in terms of saving energy. – For example, my wife and I don’t use the dryer anymore, we hang the laundry. Honestly, it’s not that complicated – he added.

The actions of the French authorities were also criticized by environmentalists, who assessed that the authorities were promoting little action and at the same time not taking sufficient moves in connection with the climate crisis.

Main photo source: BENOIT TESSIER / PAP / EPA

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