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2022 FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

7 of the best Macron memes from the French election campaign

The 2022 French presidential election campaign has been a fairly dour affair - elections usually are - but recent images of candidate Emmanuel Macron during his TV debate with opponent Marine Le Pen, and relaxing with shirt unbuttoned have given rise to some much-needed smiles.

7 of the best Macron memes from the French election campaign
Photo by Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP)

One photo in particular has sparked widespread interest – and even international media coverage – and it’s from Macron’s personal photographer Soazig de la Moissonnière.

She has been posting regular sequences of ‘behind the scenes on the election trail’ images on her Instagram account, including Macron’s recent election rally in Marseille. In among images of Macron preparing for his speech, running on stage and greeting the crowd was one of him relaxing after the event was over.

Slumped on a sofa with his shirt open to the waist (well, it’s hot in Marseille), the image caught the attention of social media.

Photo: Soazig de la Moissonnière via Instagram

Combined with other images of Macron – including that ‘Zelensky’ hoodie photo from earlier in the campaign – the image quickly became a meme circulating on Twitter.

There are dozens of these circulating as people fill in their own jokes and comparisons.

The Financial Times’s chief features writer Henry Mance gave us this scarily accurate portrayal of a journalist’s life. Freelances, in particular, will recognise this all too well.

And Nicolas Quenel compared and contrasted the daily lives of journalists in different areas of the media – print journalist, radio journalist, web journalist and TV journalist.

Here’s one for classicists…

But it’s not just Macron’s chest-hair that has been gaining attention, many also remarked on his ‘bored’ face during the live TV debate with Marine Le Pen.

According to the strict rules of the debate, each candidate had a set time to lay out their policies on a certain area, before their opponent could challenge them.

Both candidates engaged in a little ‘non verbal campaigning’ but using facial expressions and body language to show that they disagreed with what the other was saying. 

Macron’s bored expression sparked many comparisons, including this from professor, author and columnist Olivier Babeau who tweeted “when your Tinder date talks without stopping and the evening is going to be a long one”.

Another Twitter user hit the nail on the head, with this picture of Macron making notes during the debate. He really did look that bored at times on Wednesday that we could believe he was writing a shopping list (milk, onions, cereal, butter).

And Emma James wasn’t the only one to wonder about his body language.

And you know you’ve made it when you’re the subject of a sketch on a US TV chat show – here’s host Jimmy Fallon paying, erm, tribute to Macron’s new look in song. Enjoy! 

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POLICE

France proposes getting rid of penalties for ‘minor’ speeding offences

The French government is considering changing speeding laws so that drivers will not lose points on their licence if they are caught going just a few kilometres over the speed limit.

France proposes getting rid of penalties for 'minor' speeding offences

France’s Interior Ministry is considering changing its current rules for minor speeding violations – proposing getting rid of the penalty for drivers who only violate the rule by going just a few kilometres over the speed limit.

The Ministry has not laid out a timeline for when this could come into effect, but they said they are currently in the preliminary stages of studying how the change could be carried out.

“The fine of course remains,” said the Interior Ministry to French daily Le Parisien.

That is to say you can still be fined for going five kilometres over the speed limit, but there might not be any more lost points for driving a couple kilometres over the posted limit. 

READ ALSO These are the offences that can cost you points on your driving licence

Of the 13 million speeding tickets issued each year in France, 58 percent are for speeding violations of less than 5 km per hour over the limit, with many coming from automated radar machines.

How does the current rule work?

The rule itself is already a bit flexible, depending on where the speeding violation occurs.

If the violation happens in an urban area or low-speed zone (under 50 km per hour limit), then it is considered a 4th class offence, which involves a fixed fine of €135. Drivers can also lose a point on their licences as a penalty for this offence. 

Whereas, on highways and high-speed roads, the consequences of speeding by 5 km per hour are less severe. The offence is only considered 3rd class, which means the fixed fine is €68. There is still the possibility of losing a point on your licence, however. 

How do people feel about this?

Pierre Chasseray, a representative from the organisation “40 Millions d’Automobilistes,” thinks the government should do away with all penalties for minor speeding offences, including fines. He told French daily Le Parisien that this is only a “first step.”

Meanwhile, others are concerned that the move to get rid of points-deductions could end up encouraging people to speed, as they’ll think there is no longer any consequence.

To avoid being accused of carelessness, France’s Interior Ministry is also promising to become “firmer” with regards to people who use other people’s licences in order to get out of losing points – say by sending their spouse’s or grandmother’s instead of their own after being caught speeding. The Interior Ministry plans to digitalise license and registration in an effort to combat this. 

Ultimately, if you are worried about running out of points on your licence, there are still ways to recover them.

You can recover your points after six months of driving without committing any other offences, and there are also awareness training courses that allow you to gain your points back. It should be noted, however, that these trainings typically cost between €150 and €250, and they do not allow you to regain more than four points.

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