Marine Le Pen slams ‘lame duck’ Emmanuel Macron
The French President, who has previously caused a stir for his choice of entertainment while on holiday, is set to infuriate ecologists once again as he was photographed excitingly speeding through Mediterranean waters with a vehicle that consumes significantly more petrol per kilometre than the average car… while wildfires ravage France.
Mr Macron, the first of his team to depart Paris for a vacation, is at 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.
Mr Macron, who was re-elected for another five years in France’s top job last spring, is still carrying out presidential duties in between tanning sessions.
READ MORE: ‘You don’t say!’ Liz Truss has crowd laughing with Emmanuel Macron slapdown
Emmanuel Macron on holiday… while firefighters battle aggressive fires across France
He did, in fact, hold a phone call with outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday in which the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to support Ukraine as it defends itself from Russia’s invasion.
They agreed that British and French efforts to train and equip Ukrainian troops were making a significant difference in the war and stressed that Western war fatigue cannot be allowed to set in.
Mr Macron and Mr Johnson also touched upon the inevitable – immigration.
They said deeper cooperation between the UK and France will be central to further progress in the matter and help to dismantle more smuggling networks arranging Channel dinghy crossings.
Mr Macron was spotted speeding through Mediterranean waters in Fort de Brégançon
The President appeared relaxed as he tanned on a southern French beach
But what Mr Macron is doing behind closed doors at his Fort de Brégançon home is of little interest to the opposition.
Sandrine Rousseau, an MP with the Europe-Ecology-Greens party, accused the President of “not understanding” climate change.
As pictures of an adventurous Mr Macron appeared on a jet ski, Ms Rousseau, who describes herself as an “ecofeminist”, said: “This confirms this persistent impression that he does not understand global warming.
“And today it is criminal not to understand it.”
Putin ally could launch nuclear strikes on three countries [INSIGHT]
Brexit fury over ‘grossly irresponsible’ sabotage on border talks [REPORT]
Should next PM hold a general election immediately? [POLL]
Wildfires are continuing to spread in the Gironde region of southwestern France
The President also faced accusations of hypocrisy after local photographers were given a tip-off when he took to the sea on a canoe — a far more environmentally friendly toy — but were kept in the dark when he went out on the engine-driven water vehicle.
His controversial holiday images surfaced amid a deadly heatwave that has sparked forest fires across France.
On Thursday, Mr Macron said five more European allies — in addition to Sweden and Italy, who had already offered support — are providing help for firefighters battling eight major blazes across the country, including a massive one in the southwest.
Firefighters from across the EU are helping French crews tackle the devastating blazes
Thanking Germany, Greece, Poland, Romania and Austria, he wrote on Twitter: “Across the country, over 10,000 firefighters and security forces are mobilised against the flames…
“These soldiers of fire are our heroes.”
Officials warned on Thursday that flare-ups could cause a massive wildfire to further spread in France’s parched southwest, the site of the most intense blazes.
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne was to meet with authorities battling the Landiras fire south of Bordeaux, and further reinforcements are expected for the 1,100 firefighters on site, the prefecture of the Gironde department said.
The Landiras blaze erupted in July – the driest month seen in France since 1961. It destroyed 14,000 hectares and forced thousands of people to evacuate before it was contained.
France has been hit hard this summer by the historic drought, which has called for nationwide water-use restrictions, and by a series of heatwaves that experts say are being triggered by climate change.