At a press conference on Monday, March 16, President of the National Council Stephane Valeri criticised the Government over its handling of the coronavirus crisis.

“We have entered a period of major crisis, which no generation today has known. This crisis is multiple. It is to do with health, of course, but it is also social, economic, and human. It affects us all in our lives and in the organisation of our homes.

“The measures which have been taken, or which are to come and are being studied by the Government, will have a considerable impact on public expenditure, therefore they involve the competence of the Assembly, which votes the State budget.

“It is therefore in consultation with the National Council that the Government should have worked from the start,” Mr Valeri said.

“But today, since the beginning of this crisis, the government executive, arguing that it is the executive, claims to know how to act alone, without consulting elected officials. At most, we were entitled, following our strong insistence, to information. The Government acts alone. It communicates alone: in short, it has not worked as it should since the beginning of the crisis.”

Mr Valeri complained that there had been no discussion so far between the Government on the one hand and the National Council on the other, during the preparation of the measures brought in by the Government, nor on how to announce them to the public.

“Let’s be clear, the Government’s communication is not up to the task. I don’t even need to give an example.”

Since the beginning of this crisis, the Government has left no room for the National Council, its position is “we decide, you must either be silent, or approve (our actions).” The Government therefore lacks an essential institutional resource to face this crisis: the representative dimension of the population, Mr Valeri said.

PHOTO: National Council President Stephane Valeri