Macron calls for 'hope' in New Year's Eve address to French nation

·2-min read

French President Emmanuel Macron in delivering his televised New Year’s address on Thursday struck an optimistic note for 2021 while acknowledging sacrifices made and the resilience of the French people who still remain in the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Hope remains, hope springs eternal”, said the French president in his televised address to the nation, urging the French several times in his speech not to give up hope. He pledged that by Spring 2021 France will be stronger and that a “new model” of a nation will have emerged.

Macron named several French citizens who demonstrated the qualities of hard graft, sacrifice and “collective responsibility” that helped France pull through in 2020. Among them a garbage driver, nursing student and bookstore assistant who worked tirelessly and in service to others throughout the pandemic, and the gendarmes and soldiers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

The president referenced the damage wrought by the Covid-19 virus saying "entire parts of the French narrative have been destroyed because of this pandemic” but that "this historical challenge has also revealed the solidity, the soundness, the resilience of this nation".

Macron reassured the French public that vaccinations would be available to all under safe and secure conditions. He also defended the government after it had been criticised for being too slow to roll out its vaccination programme saying officials were trying to win over a vaccine-sceptic nation.

He vowed to avoid “unjustifiable delays”.

Macron also turned to Brexit and said Britain would remain "our friend and ally" after they formally leave the EU at midnight.

In a year marked by immense restrictions and losses, the president's words will bear special significance for those of us eager to bid farewell to 2020.