‘Incompetent narcissist!’ France fury at Macron as leader prepares for woeful autumn

Marine Le Pen slams 'lame duck' Emmanuel Macron

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According to François Asselineau, of the Popular Republican Union (PRU), Mr Macron is an “incompetent narcissist” who spent the summer “jet-skiing and canoeing” while other world leaders worked to tackle issues of global relevance.

Mr Asselineau, an outspoken Frexiteer, said: “In August, (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdogan went to negotiate with (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky, (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, (Israel’s Prime Minister Yair) Lapid and (Iranian President Ebrahim) Raissi while Macron drank with Brigitte at Brégancon and with the mayor of Bormes-les-Mimosas, and went jet-skiing and canoeing.”

Mr Macron, 44, was spotted enjoying himself during his time off in the south of France, with the President pictured sunbathing and riding a jet ski.

Shots of him excitingly speeding through Mediterranean waters with a vehicle that consumes significantly more petrol per kilometre than the average car upset some among the French public — and, unsurprisingly, some of his political opponents — as they were taken while France battled a series of devastating wildfires.

Mr Macron travelled to the Presidential hideaway at Fort de Brégançon for a three-week stay – although he says it is a pause estival studieuse (summer study break) rather than a holiday.

As per Elysées rules, ministers must take their breaks at “a destination compatible with the exercise of their responsibilities”, within a two-hour flight from the capital in case their urgent presence is required.

The leader did indeed continue to carry out presidential duties while away.

These included, most recently, a call with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and US President Joe Biden, as the four discussed cooperation on international security, including the risk of the fighting around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine occupied by Russian troops.

The leaders welcomed Putin’s agreement to allow the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit the site amid concerns over its safety – a deal reached after Mr Macron made contact with the Kremlin last week.

Mr Macron had a phone conversation with the Russian president on Friday, which he said was necessary because of the urgent nuclear threat to Europe.

Moscow has controlled the nuclear plant — the continent’s largest — in south-east Ukraine since March, although it is still run by Ukrainian scientists.

The Ukrainian nuclear firm Energoatom said on Friday it feared Russia plans to switch off the functioning power units at the Zaporizhzhia plant, which in normal times provides about one-fifth of the war-torn nation’s electricity.

A loss of electricity supply led to the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan in 2011.

Mr Macron has been criticised in the past for keeping up diplomatic talks with Putin.

This time, despite the justification in view of the serious safety risk affecting the Zaporizhzhia plant, was no different.

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Florian Philippot, of Les Patriotes, said: “If Macron rushes us into war, it will certainly not be in the name of France but in the name of his masters – the EU, NATO, Atlanticism, globalist corruption.

“In short, the most absolute horror!

“Macron must go!”

But it is anything but expected that the President, who was re-elected for another five years in France’s top job last spring, will go.

His approval rating dropped by one point in the past month as he was overtaken by his Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, the Journal du Dimanche reported, citing a poll by Ifop.

The monthly survey found 37 percent of those asked were satisfied with Mr Macron’s performance, down from 38 percent in July.

Yet — and despite being deprived of an absolute majority since June — Mr Macron appeared determined to tackle the myriad of issues which await him back in Paris, including rising energy costs, the unemployment insurance reform, pensions, immigration and tense relations with some of France’s international partners.

On that last front, Mr Macron will visit Algeria this week in a bid to improve strained ties between Paris and Algiers.

The trip, which will see Mr Macron meet Algerian President Abdelmadjid TebbouneIt, will mark the President’s second official visit to the North African country after a brief one in December 2017 at the start of his first term when Abdelaziz Bouteflika was still President.

French-Algerian relations hit a low late last year after Mr Macron reportedly questioned whether Algeria had existed as a nation before the French invasion and accused its “political-military system” of rewriting history and fomenting “hatred towards France”.

Algeria withdrew its ambassador in response, but the two sides appear to have reconciled since.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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