France is one of the nations hit hardest by coronavirus in Europe. Despite this, the country has begun relaxing lockdown measures after eight weeks in quarantine. Emmanuel Macron’s initial decision to take France into lockdown was praised but the leader has recently faced criticism.
After Paris residents took to the river Seine and St Martin canal on Monday, police were instructed to disperse those sitting and relaxing alongside the rivers.
Paris mayor insisted residents needed to be allowed their freedoms after the lockdown.
However, Macron’s government has warned a second wave of coronavirus must be avoided at all costs.
Euronews’ Oliver Whitfield-Miliocic explained the growing tensions between the mayor and the French government.
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Mr Whitfiled-Milocic said: “When you are out on the street it is the case people do keep their distance and when you go into a shop you have got to wear a mask.
“Videos emerged of people drinking, sharing food, embracing each other which then lead to the police going in and asking everybody to leave.
“Many were given a stern warning that this could lead to a rise in infection level in the French capital.
“This is something the authorities are desperate to avoid.”
He continued: “The mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo said the residents need to be let out of some of the smallest apartments in Europe.
“She says they need to be allowed to go to parks, gardens and allowed to live a little bit more freely.
“The French government has said that will not be allowed to happen.
“They fear that with the warm weather that is expected to arrive soon it could lead to hundreds of people going to those places and transmission rates going up.”
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Mr Whitfiled-Milocic concluded there are difficulties adjusting to relaxing measures may prove to be a “teething period.”
He said when initial lockdown began there were those who struggled to adjust to the massive change.
Mr Whitfiled-Milocic insisted that this lapse in judgement by some residents may only be temporary as Paris citizens re-adjust to the new measures.
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