French President Emmanuel Macron has come under fire for attempting to discreetly remove an expensive watch during a debate about pension changes.
France has been hit with Violent protests and strikes after Macron was able to push through legislation without a vote in parliament, which increased the age of retirement by two years. French residents can now retire at age 64.
Critics of Macron said that the viral clip of him removing his watch shows how out of touch he is.
Macron used his hands to gesture as he was making a point. He then put his hands under the table, and when they re-appeared, his watch was no longer on.
Macron’s spokesperson played down criticism and said he removed the watch because it had been “clinking on the table.”
Clemence Guette, who is an MP for the opposition left-wing La France Insoumise party, tweeted that while Mr Macron was claiming minimum wage earners were financially comfortable with strong purchasing power, “the final image” was him “removing his pretty luxury watch”.
Farida Amrani, who also is an MP for La France Insoumise, said: “The president of the rich has never worn his name so well.”
Many social media users speculated that Macron’s watch is worth $85,000. The Élysée Palace said this figure is not accurate.
The Élysée Palace told French media that Macron was wearing a Bell & Ross BR V1-92 model, which is personalized with a coat of arms.
“He has been wearing it very regularly for more than a year and a half,” the palace said in their statement.
This watch can be bought online (without personalization) for $1,758 to $3,545.
The recent protests in France caused King Charles’s first state visit to be called-off.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: CZECHIA POSTS ENGLISH
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