An audition and a timid beginning of mea culpa. But no substantive change. Wednesday, 1er June, before the Senate Law Commission, Gérald Darmanin and Amélie Oudéa-Castéra were invited to “full transparency” on the Stade de France fiasco. Since May 28, the scenes of chaos observed around the Dionysian enclosure on the sidelines of the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid have triggered a political storm and the anger of the British. The Ministers of the Interior and of Sports therefore endeavored to respond point by point to the questions of the parliamentarians.
They had been strongly encouraged to do so at the end of the Council of Ministers, the same morning, by Emmanuel Macron. The Head of State, who did everything not to be involved in this controversy, considered by his entourage as a poisoned file, on which “there are only blows to take”, had not said a word since Saturday at the Stade de France. Wednesday morning, while the controversy is not deflating, the president finally asked the government “transparency, light on the facts, ways to prevent it from happening again, and responsiveness”said government spokeswoman Olivia Grégoire, even mentioning ” an obsession ” of Mr. Macron.
At the end of the Council of Ministers, Mme Grégoire in any case felt that“we could have done better” and said to herself ” sorry “ for the supporters, victims of these incidents. A slight change in tone which contrasts with that, offensive, of the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, for four days.
Faced with criticism, coming from France but also from abroad, the executive is therefore beginning to recognize the dysfunctions, without taking refuge in denial. “When it screwed up, you have to say it screwed up”, says a close friend of the head of state. According to the Elysee, “The president immediately understood that it was important and he gave the orders for it to be taken seriously. And that the responsibilities are established, so that it does not happen again”. A way of putting pressure on his interior minister, forcing him to change his attitude.
“A wound for our national pride”
The message was clearly heard by Mr. Darmanin. “It is obvious that things could have been better organized”he admitted on Wednesday, during his hearing by the Senate Law Commission. “It is obvious that this sports festival has been ruined”he added, before admitting that “the negative image of this match is a wound for our national pride”. “And we very sincerely regret the sometimes unacceptable excesses that have taken place”said the minister again, under the fire of the opposition, which demands his resignation.
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