French President Emmanuel Macron wants to rebuild the severely damaged Cathedral Notre-Dame within the next five years. The Parisian landmark should be even more beautiful than before, said Macron in a televised speech. On Monday evening after the outbreak of fire, Macron had promised to rebuild the Gothic structure. In his five-minute speech, Macron also appealed to the cohesion of French society and thanked police, fire and rescue teams for their efforts.
At the same time he acknowledged the signs of solidarity from home and abroad. “Everyone gave what they could.” The cathedral fire had hit people in Paris, in France and around the world, so now is the time to act. “I share her pain, but I also share her hope.”
The announcement of its reform measures in the course of the “national debate” Macron moved indefinitely. At the moment, the time was not right, said the president, who had to cancel a TV speech and a press conference on his reform plans because of the devastating fire of the Paris Cathedral. Macron had launched a civil debate to calm the “yellow west” crisis in January, promising concrete results for the French in mid-April.
According to the text of the speech, the head of state also wants to make possible referendum, as demanded by the “yellow vests”. However, mostly to “topics of local interest”. The “yellow vests” and many other citizens accuse France’s political class of being too withdrawn. Macron is for them a “president of the rich” because he largely abolished wealth tax. From 2020, Macron wants to check according to the speech text necessary “corrections”.
The “yellow vests” have been protesting for five months for more social justice and lower taxes. In December, Macron had first announced concessions of around ten billion euros, including a higher minimum wage. From mid-January to mid-March, the president also asked citizens to engage in a “big national debate” to “turn anger into solutions.”