March 15, 2020 / 12:21 PM / 13 days ago

Macron says France will get through coronavirus by being responsible

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks as the Eiffel Tower is seen in the background during a ceremony to honour victims of terror attacks in Europe, on the 16th anniversary of Madrid attacks, at the Trocadero in Paris, France March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/Pool/Files

PARIS (Reuters) - President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that the government had no option but to impose stricter measures to tackle the coronavirus, but that the country would get through the crisis if it acted responsibly.

“I am the guarantor of the health of our citizens and also the democratic life of our country,” Macron said, defending his decision to hold local elections. “We will overcome this crisis by being responsible together and for each other,” he said, after casting his vote in northern France.

Macron said the decision to close shops and restaurants needed to be made because too many people were being too lax in how they protected themselves from the virus.

Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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