Macron furious after Jair Bolsonaro mocks his wife’s looks

‘Brazilian women are probably ashamed to read their president has done that,’ says French leader

Emmanuel Macron hits back at Jair Bolsonaro for insulting wife's looks

Emmanuel Macron has condemned his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro for "extraordinarily disrespectful comments" about his wife as a clash between the two over the Amazon turned personal.

In a post on Jair Bolsonaro's Facebook page, a user insulted the French first lady, Brigitte, by comparing her appearance with that of the Brazilian president's wife, Michelle, implying that the younger woman was more attractive.

The supporter suggested Mr Macron was jealous, and that that was why he was “persecuting” the Brazilian leader.

Mr Bolsonaro hit “like” on the post, writing: "Don't humiliate the guy... ha ha."

When asked for his response by reporters at the G7 summit in Biarritz, Mr Macron said: “He has made some extraordinarily rude comments about my wife.

"What can I tell you? It's sad. It's sad for him and for Brazilians. I think that Brazilian women are probably ashamed to read that their president has done that."

"I think that Brazilians, a great people, are a bit ashamed of this behaviour," the French president added. "As I have a lot of friendship and respect for the Brazilian people, I hope that they will quickly have a president who is up to the job."

And he claimed Mr Bolsonaro had gone back on a promise to halt deforestation, threatening to no longer support the EU’s Mercosur deal with Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

Mr Bolsonaro had missed a scheduled meeting with the French foreign minister in favour of a barber’s appointment, Mr Macron added.

The spat illustrated the ill-feeling between the two men that has deepened since fires have swept through the Amazon this month, destroying vast swathes of forest, killing wildlife and deepening the climate emergency.

Their clash is seen as the worst diplomatic crisis between France and Brazil in 40 years.

Mr Macron has been highly critical of Brazil’s handling of the crisis, tweeting: “Our house is literally on fire”.

He said that the French overseas territory of French Guiana on the northern coast of South America is France’s biggest land border, so the Amazon was particularly important for France because “we are there”.

Mr Bolsonaro attacked Macron for having a “colonialist mentality”, tweeting that "ludicrous and unnecessary attacks on the Amazon" were unacceptable.

Brazilian politicians, including Mr Bolsonaro's son Eduardo, have taken pot shots at Mr Macron, with education minister Abraham Weintraub calling him "an opportunist idiot" and "a president without character" in a flurry of tweets.

Eduardo Bolsonaro, who is tipped to be the next ambassador to Washington, on Friday retweeted a video showing violent yellow-vest protests in France headlined "Macron is an idiot”.

In 2017, Mr Bolsonaro caused anger when he said: “I have five children. Four are men, and then in a moment of weakness the fifth came out a girl.”

Additional reporting by agencies

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in