French minister urged to resign over Ibiza trip — Analysis

Jean-Michel Blanquer has revealed new tests and isolation rules to the Spanish party Island

Speaking on Tuesday, France’s education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer told lawmakers that he had done nothing wrong but admitted that he should have chosen a different place to announce the new Covid test rules. “I regret the symbolism,”He added.

Blanquer’s admission of regret came as opposition lawmakers called on President Emmanuel Macron to dismiss his ally from the government over what has now been dubbed “Ibizagate.”

“Instead of preparing the return to class with teachers and parents, the minister staged a PR coup with his feet in the sand. This degree of contempt and irresponsibility is unacceptable,”Yannick Jadot was the Greens presidential candidate during the April election.

Gabriel Attal, a spokesperson for the government, defended Blanquer before the French media. He noted that ministers are not required by the state. “to be reachable at all times.” 

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During an interview with Le Parisien, the education minister revealed new isolation and testing requirements on January 2. The publication was made just hours before the return of students to school after the Christmas break.

Le Parisien didn’t specify Blanquer speaking from Ibiza, the Spanish island party. A photo accompanying the article suggested Blanquer was present in his office.

Teachers and parents were both upset by the new rule. Thousands of classes had to be closed and students queued outside pharmacy doors for Covid-19 testing.

In spite of criticisms, the government relaxed the testing requirements and offered five million FFP2 high-grade masks to school staff after a strike. To make up the shortfall in teachers after school staff were forced to go on strike, the government also promised to recruit more teachers.

The SNUipp-FSU union, the largest among primary school teachers, has called for Blanquer’s dismissal and along with other unions vowed more strike action.

Following the Ibiza vacation, the minister reportedly married in Paris a French journalist.

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