France: bill project allowing the establishment of a potentially permanent "state of health crisis"

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France: bill project allowing the establishment of a potentially permanent "state of health crisis"
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The French Prime Minister has just drafted a law allowing the establishment of a "state of health crisis", distinct from the "state of health emergency" with the following properties:

  • established by decree (8),
  • renewed by decree (9),
  • repealed by decree, or if decrees are not renewed (11).

In other words, the state of health crisis can only be stopped by the government, it can be constantly renewed or reinstated at will.

This state of health crisis allows the state:

  • to control prices (15),
  • to requisition all workers, goods or services with compensation (16),
  • to quarantine, for up to one month, any person "likely to be contaminated" by the disease, at home when possible, in quarantine camps for foreigners or homeless people (18-20).

In other words, the state takes measures characteristic of war or state capitalism. In particular :

  • partial control of the economy by the state (15-16),
  • the prohibition of strikes (16),
  • the requisition (with compensation) of companies to force them to integrate the state's plan (16),
  • The imprisonment of foreigners and homeless people simply "susceptible to contamination" in quarantine camps, like prisoners of war, but for a period limited to one month (18-20).


The bill project contains many other elements that deserve to be studied.

Source : PROJET DE LOI instituant un régime pérenne de gestion des urgences sanitaires, (Procédure accélérée)

EDIT 2020-12-22: add numers.

State of emergency

The bill also specifies the state of health emergency. A state of emergency is also declared by decree (26), but unlike a state of crisis, it can only be prolonged by law (28).

The state of emergency gives the state the same rights as the state of crisis (32).

The state can then:

  • limit or suppress freedom of movement (34),
  • assign people to their homes, "under reserve of travel strictly essential for family or health needs" (35),
  • close stores, or any establishment open to the public, under reserve of guaranteeing access to essential goods and services (36),
  • suppress the freedom of demonstration, public and private meetings (37),
  • suppress freedom of enterprise (38),
  • "Subordinate the movement of people, their access to means of transport or to certain places, as well as the exercise of certain activities subject to the presentation of the results of a screening test establishing that the person is not affected or contaminated, followed by preventive treatment, including administration of a vaccine, or curative treatment. "(39)


Contextual Authoritarianism

When the state implements similar measures in response to terrorism the Communist Left are quick to denounce the opportunism of the state. I think we should be doing the same here. There's much talk about 'inter-class' struggles, however the fact that the petit-bourgeois share some of our gripes isn't reason to exclude ourselves from such struggles - this rest on the assumption that inter-class struggles can never change their complexion and that the bourgeois faction will always set the narrative - I'm not certain this is neccessarily true.