Hosted by protesters during a July 14 crowd, French President Emmanuel Macron urged his rowdies to “be cool” in a heated exchange captured in images released on Wednesday.
Macron, who was walking in the Tuileries garden in Paris with his wife Brigitte after the annual parade and the presidential speech on Tuesday, spent several minutes engaging the demonstrators of the “yellow vest” on subjects ranging from the police to the reform retirements.
Guards of the nervous body were watching.
“It’s a holiday, I go for a walk, I’m respectful … Be cool, don’t shout,” said Macron, who is struggling to lift low approval rates following the coronavirus crisis .
Some of the protesters chanted for him to resign and one repeatedly chastised him about the police on motorcycles used to control anti-government protesters “yellow vests” who started taking to the streets at the end of 2018.
“I wish you a happy July 14. You can protest, it’s a democracy. Have a good day, “added Macron, noting that some of the protests had turned violent.
“I hear you, I heard what you are asking for, but I am asking for a commitment, which must also be cool – no violence, no stupid tricks, none. Otherwise, we will not succeed.”
Some people questioned Macron’s judgment in public the day protests were expected.
“It was a verbal confrontation that turned out to be nothing serious, but it could have taken on different proportions,” said conservative lawmaker Christian Jacob on RTL radio.
Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday that Macron’s security had not been compromised.
“He is able to leave the Elysée Palace to get some fresh air and meet French voters, which is a good thing,” he said.