After pension protests, King Charles’ visit to France was postponed.
According to Downing Street, King Charles III’s state visit to France has been postponed at the president’s request.
Although unions announced a day of pension protests while the president was there, he declared that continuing “would not be sensible and would lack common sense.”
It had been planned for the excursion to Bordeaux and Paris to start on Sunday.
But, Thursday saw some of the worst acts of violence in both cities since the start of the protests in January.
Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort, decided to postpone their three-day visit because of the “situation in France,” according to Buckingham Palace.
The statement continued that “Their Majesties warmly anticipate the opportunity to visit France as soon as dates can be established.”
President Macron stated that he felt it would be improper for the King and Camilla to travel from the moment on Thursday night when unions announced a 10th national day of action for Tuesday, two days into the state visit.
“I decided to take the initiative this morning to phone [the King] and explain the issue since we have a great deal of friendship, respect, and esteem for His Majesty, the Queen Consort, and the British people. We recommended a postponement out of friendship and common sense.”
The decision was “made with the cooperation of all parties,” the UK government noted. According to Mr. Macron, France suggested shifting the trip to the beginning of the summer “when things calm down again.” The choice costs France and President Macron a great deal of face. This was intended to be a showcase for France, showcasing the finest of French culture to the new monarch and fostering a recently rekindled bond.
Right- and left-leaning opponents of the president reacted quickly.
While Jean-Luc Mélenchon on the extreme left was relieved the “meeting of kings at Versailles” had been called off and added that “the Brits” understood that France’s interior minister was “pathetic on security,” Eric Ciotti of the Republicans claimed the cancellation placed “shame on our country.”
The journey had been impossible due to the demonstrations. More than a million people participated in generally peaceful marches on Thursday, but violence broke out in a few French cities.
The Bordeaux town hall’s entryway was set on fire. Paris, whose waste has not been picked up since March 6, saw the use of tear gas and 903 fires, according to Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.
The Council of Europe stated that there was no justification for “excessive force” by authorities despite the fact that hundreds of police officers were hurt around France while demonstrators were assaulted by stun grenades.
In images: Fires and garbage in French protests
During a television interview, Macron removes his “luxury” watch.
French officials worked to reassure the public that the state visit, scheduled for March 26 to 29, would go forward and that security was in place for much of Friday morning. To cover the occasion, a few UK journalists had already flown to Paris.
As the King’s first state visit to one of the UK’s closest and earliest allies, this journey was of utmost importance. The King and Camilla were scheduled to ride into the heart of Paris along the Champs-Elysées and dine with President Macron at Versailles.
In the Musée d’Orsay, one of the top Paris attractions, Camilla was scheduled to inaugurate an art exhibition. After that, they were supposed to travel to Bordeaux.
The visit was eventually canceled since protests were a possibility at every stage. Even those who lay out the red carpets were preparing to go on strike.
There are “no known threats,” according to Interior Minister Mr. Darmanin, to the King. The visit to Bordeaux, according to Mayor Pierre Hurmic, has been modified so that it “may proceed under the best security, so as not to expose the King to any difficulties at all.”
The French president made the obvious decision, however, when faced with the prospect of leading the King through trash- and graffiti-filled streets, with every public appearance surrounded by security, and every movement threatened by strikes.
He was the one under pressure, even though it may have been a collaborative decision with the UK government. The trip to Bordeaux, which was supposed to be centered on organic vineyards, fizzled out. The tour was scheduled to include a stop at the town hall, whose entrance was set ablaze on Thursday.
For the president, the image would have had a negative impact at home. That would have been shockingly inappropriate and might have helped his critics too much to have dinner with a king in Versailles.
In a television interview on the eve of Thursday’s nationwide demonstration, President Macron said that the government’s reforms were necessary for the country’s economic health and that he was willing to bear the unpopularity that would follow.
The measures, which increase the retirement age from 62 to 64 and raise the length of employee payments to 43 years, were forced through by his government on Monday.
The president and prime minister used a constitutional right to avoid a vote after realizing they wouldn’t be able to approve the measure in the National Assembly.
Adèle, a 19-year-old law student in Nanterre, France, stated, “I listened to Macron yesterday and it was as if someone was spitting in our face.” “There is another method to approach this pension reform, and if he doesn’t choose it, it’s because he isn’t paying attention to the public. There is a glaring absence of democracy “She spoke to the BBC.
King Charles will be disappointed by the postponement, which will be extremely embarrassing for President Macron.
On the recommendation of the government, state visits are made. The background information had consistently emphasized the significance of this diplomatic statement about the restoration of relations with European neighbors.
On Wednesday, the King and Camilla were scheduled to depart from France for Germany. Berlin will serve as the starting point of Charles’ first state visit.