During his recent trip to Saint Martin to inspect the reconstruction work after the Caribbean island was devastated by hurricanes Irma and Maria last year, Emmanuel Macron spent quality good time with the locals affected by the tragedy.
He was pictured alongside two shirtless young men, with one of them showing the finger at the cameras. The second bandanna-wearing man reportedly told the French leader that he was a “robber” and was recently released from prison.
The French president then advised the ex-convict to move forward and contribute to the reconstruction of the hurricane-stricken island.
The president who wasn’t fazed by his confession then told the young man to leave his criminal past behind and take part in reconstruction.
Meanwhile, the image of the trio which has now gone viral, have been generating heated debates among social media users as well as fellow politicians from Opposition parties.
TWEET: “There is almost nothing left. Only shreds of dignity that are lost in the night of vulgarity. The president's suit has become far too big.”
TWEET: “What amazes me in this picture is that Macron didn’t demand that these two young men be properly dressed. He is the President of the Republic and must be received with some respect… Everything is debased.”
TWEET: “We’ve touched rock bottom. I can’t bear seeing the presidential post be debased with so much flippancy. I am now convinced of the moral incapacity of the head of state to fulfill his duties. Emmanuel #Macron must draw all the consequences.”
The leader of the right-wing party National Rally, Marine Le Pen, was also among those who expressed indignation via Twitter:
“Words cannot express our indignation. France certainly does not deserve that. It is unforgivable!” she tweeted.
Responding to the backlash, Macron defended himself saying that he “loved every child of the Republic, no matter how foolish they are.”