Heavenly settings are not everything, even on the other side of the world. At the time of the balance sheet, Emmanuel Macron did not take the time to savor the promised change of scenery as he completed his trip to Oceania on Friday July 28, which took him from New Caledonia, to Vanuatu, then to Papua. -New Guinea, and finally a surprise stopover in Sri Lanka.
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The Head of State did not escape the vicissitudes of current events during the outward flight. While traveling with Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin. Emmanuel Macron discovered the words of the boss of the national police in the press: “A police officer has no place in prison, before a possible trial”, said Frédéric Veaux. Clear and clear support for angry agents, many of whom are calling for the release of one of their colleagues placed in pre-trial detention, because he is suspected of having shot a flash-ball at a young man during the riots in Marseille.
The strategy of silence
The crisis then smolders, with his foot barely set in Nouméa, Emmanuel Macron tries to defuse the bomb in a hastily assembled interview, the style is a bit baroque, the journalists who question him are 16,000 km away: “I understand the emotion, but no one is above the law”, does not temper the president. These will be his only words on the controversy, because there is no press conference or even very informal exchange with journalists. Behind the flower necklaces and local customs, he chooses the strategy of silence.
A duplicated strategy, when Thursday morning, Emmanuel Macron discovered the coup attempt in Niger which forced him to shorten his visit to the Melanesian arts festival in Vanuatu. In the delegation, an adviser admits: “Even so far from Paris, he must continue to work … And that the State can function.”
Surprise visit to Sri Lanka
However, the Élysée never ceased to boast of a historic visit to the Pacific. With this trip, the most distant for two years, Emmanuel Macron wants to establish the idea that France remains a power of the Pacific. In New Caledonia, who does he say “chose to stay French”, he promises a constitutional reform for the beginning of 2024, without succeeding in having all the separatist and loyalist currents sit around the same table. The appointment is still given in Paris, at the end of August.
In Vanuatu, 57 years after General De Gaulle, the Head of State plays the great defenders of the sovereignty and independence of the smallest of this world, at a time when the Chinese giant is setting up everywhere.
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And then, Emmanuel Macron puts on the costume of the protector of forests and global biodiversity in Papua New Guinea with handshakes and facade smiles. To close the loop, Emmanuel Macron improvises a stopover in Sri Lanka. This is the first time that a French president has made an official visit there. A bankrupt country, strangled by debt and political and economic crises. A last postcard before returning to Paris then to Fort de Brégançon, in the Var, without certainty that the summer will be very relaxing.