Elisabeth Borne assured Wednesday that she had “not intended” to “hurt” a disabled listener, to whom she suggested “perhaps resuming a professional activity” during a program the day before on France Bleu.

“What I mean is that if the person – Dolores in this case – could have been hurt by my words, I regret it. Of course, I did not intend to hurt her,” said the Prime Minister, on the sidelines of a trip to Versailles.

The day before, Ms. Borne had spoken with “Dolores” who, moved, challenged her on her personal situation, and in particular on the “deconjugalization” of the disabled adult allowance.

Recalling that “aid for everyday life”, “which is not at all means-tested”, existed, the Prime Minister then added: “And there is the way in which we can support you so that you can -to be resuming a professional activity. I imagine that this is something that you could wish for and there, there are structures for which it is the responsibility”.

“Return to a professional life, you know, when you have a chair …”, had launched in tears the listener in return.

Ms. Borne’s response sparked controversy, especially on the left, in a context heightened by the first round of legislative elections on Sunday.

“Brutal technocrat, E. Borne humiliates by mistake or by taste? A million unemployment benefit recipients know that she has picked their pockets. Here, she humiliates a woman in a wheelchair”, wrote in particular on Twitter the leader of the Insoumis Jean -Luc Melenchon.

Marine Le Pen also criticized the Prime Minister during a press conference in Perpignan: Emmanuel Macron “named another himself” who shows “the same brutality, the same contempt, the same lack of empathy that was that (of the president) for 5 years”, she denounced.

For her part, Ms. Borne assured that she had “tried to contact (the listener) again. I did not manage to reach her, but my teams were able to have a long discussion with her. I measure to what extent this person has had a career of difficult life and I repeat that it is necessary to accompany it, to help it to overcome this very delicate moment for it”, she insisted.

Emmanuel Macron had promised in April to “move” on the individualization of the disabled adult allowance – that is to say its calculation without taking into account the income of the spouse -, a development that his government and his majority rejected several times last year.

08/06/2022 19:15:52 – Versailles (AFP) – © 2022 AFP