He had been predicted to beat him and to abuse him. “He was going to take it in the face”, predicted Karl Olive, the mayor (various right) of Poissy (Yvelines). “It won’t always please you, but it will help you”, had assured the aedile to Emmanuel Macron before the president began his tour of France intended to “Take the pulse of things” one year before the presidential election. Arriving in Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, a small town in the Lot, Wednesday, June 2, the first stage of its “Pilgrimage” across the country, the Head of State nevertheless seemed far from this angry France and “These lands where we feel the difficulties of the middle classes”, described in his interview at Zadig dated May 26.
Arrived with a delay worthy of a rockstar, greeted like a star, the president rubbed shoulders with « terrain », but in a postcard setting, surrounded by a benevolent crowd. In the charming medieval village whose life is punctuated by the comings and goings of tourists walking the small cobbled streets, people flock here for a photo, there for an autograph. The Head of State savors, smiles, caresses the cheeks of the children who are placed in his arms.
“I find you better than [Kylian] Mbappé “, assures a little boy. “In football this is not true. He’s great, we’re going to put up with him soon, you’ll see, with the others ”, replied the head of state, flattered. “It’s funny to see him on TV and there, in real life”, lets go an old man trying to find his place in the crowd.
This Wednesday, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie almost looked like a “Potemkin village”. The aftermath of Covid-19? The tourist season of 2020 has been saved by the summer months. And the president’s visit “Will give a good spotlight” for what is coming, hopes Bertrand-Gabriel Vigouroux, specialist in wine tourism in the region. “They put their hands in their pockets”, also greets Thierry Brun, stonemason, evoking the aid measures which have made it possible to keep restaurateurs and tourism players afloat.
As for the security fears that panic some of the French: “Here, we sleep with the door open”, answers Marie-Claire Fournol, retiree who came with her husband, Gilbert, from the neighboring town of Cajac, ” for the occasion “. “Who really thinks that if Marine Le Pen is elected the little thugs will go to bed at 9 pm with a book? “, she sighs.
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