The Head of State inaugurates at 8:30 p.m. the new political program of France 2, “L’Evénement”, in the midst of soaring energy prices, while Vladimir Putin has partially closed the gas taps to Europe at the approach of winter.
“War in Ukraine, energy crisis, return of the nuclear threat”: Emmanuel Macron will be questioned on “the new perils and their consequences already visible in the lives of the French”, promises journalist Caroline Roux, who will host the show.
The stakes are all the higher as the war is entering a new phase, with massive Russian bombardments on Monday and Tuesday throughout Ukrainian territory and direct threats from the Kremlin on Europeans who support kyiv.
For once, international subjects, often relegated to the end of the show, will therefore be featured in this new format.
“He really wants to have peace on national issues (…) He is still there to talk about Ukraine, Armenia, Russia, Italy, Great Britain”, loose a member of the government.
Another innovation, the president will return two weeks later, on October 26, for a second part of the program, this time devoted to domestic political issues.
It is not excluded however that the French news catches up with it on Wednesday evening, starting with the shortage of fuel in a third of the service stations due to a strike movement at TotalEnergies and ExxonMobil.
“It’s untenable”, judges a ministerial adviser; “he will have to start with national subjects”, anticipates another.
His last television interview, already placed under the sign of the risks of shortage and energy “sobriety”, dates back to July 14.
– “War chief” –
Through this double interview, Emmanuel Macron is determined to occupy the field in a turbulent political context, with the loss of the absolute majority in the National Assembly, thundering oppositions and a potentially turbulent social autumn.
Since the start of the school year, he has also tried to set the pace by increasing his trips across France, on health, wind turbines, vocational training.
But for political communication specialist Philippe Moreau Chevrolet, it is “symptomatic that he chose to start (this time) with the “reserved area of Foreign Affairs, which naturally places him above the fray”.
A field on which he willingly poses as a “peacemaker”, he recalls, from his attempts to mediate between Moscow and kyiv to prevent war in Ukraine to the more recent one between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“He is never as popular, if we exclude the yellow vests, as in moments of crisis when he can play the warlord”, notes Benjamin Morel, lecturer in public law at the University of Paris 2.
But the exercise, successful in the case of the Covid crisis, is not without risk either. “If you’re on the front line and don’t have much to give apart from the verb, it’s dangerous,” warns the academic.
On Wednesday, the head of state will mainly explain how to contain the rise in energy prices, while the European Union is working on several options before the summit on October 20 and 21.
And to restore the framework of the policy of military support to kyiv, while Vladimir Putin openly agitates the nuclear threat against all those who will thwart his plans in Ukraine.
Emmanuel Macron has promised to increase this aid, in particular by sending six additional, very powerful and long-range Caesar cannons to kyiv.
France will also strengthen its military presence on NATO’s eastern flank by deploying armored infantry vehicles (VBCI) and Leclerc tanks in Romania, as well as reinforcements in Estonia.