Get a grip, Emmanuel! German media turns on Macron after ‘clown’ jibe at Boris

Macron's fishing threats would harm 'everybody' says expert

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France’s satirical magazine “Le Canard Enchainé” claims Mr Macron called his British counterpart “un clown” within his close circle. The “clown” jibe from Mr Macron was then referenced by a German media outlet called Welt. The news site headlined a piece about the relationship between Mr Macron and Mr Johnson with the words, “Johnson, a clown? Pull yourself together, Macron!”

In the piece, journalist Thomas Kielinger writes: “Macron uses criticism of Brexit and the distance to the ‘unreliable’ Johnson like a concert pitch, which intensifies the contrast between the countries that were once part of the Entente Cordiale.”

He notes: “At first, the French President and the British Prime Minister had a mutual admiration for each other. Today Macron calls his colleague “un clown”. The annoyed replies: “Donnez-moi un break!” About the roots of the Franco-British rift.”

Mr Kielinger adds: “France’s satirical magazine ‘Le Canard Enchainé’ recently wrote how the president now assesses the prime minister: “un clown” is what he calls him within his closest circle – Britain had been degraded to a ‘circus’ under Johnson’s leadership.

The piece includes reference to Mr Macron blaming the UK for the cancellation of the Australia-France submarine deal.

After Mr Johnson heard about the accusations levelled at him he responded using partial French.

He joked “prenez un grip, or “get a grip” in English.

Mr Johnson also said, “donnez-moi un break”, or “give me a break”.

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This is thought to have angered French ministers.

In September, Australia chose not to pursue a diesel-electric submarine contract with France worth $66 billion.

Canberra instead chose to work with the US and the UK on a new nuclear submarine deal.

France was outraged after the change of plans by Australia and recalled its ambassadors to the US.

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Australia said it instead needs a type of submarine that France cannot provide because of the threat from China.

Concerning the scrapped deal, an Australian government spokesperson said: “The security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region have grown significantly.

“Military modernisation is occurring at an unprecedented rate and capabilities are rapidly advancing and their reach expanding.

“The technological edge enjoyed by Australia and our partners is narrowing.”

Emmanuel Macron has further distanced himself from the UK and US over Joe Biden’s plans for a diplomatic boycott the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The French President said on Thursday he would rather work with the International Olympic Committee on the protection of athletes than engage in a boycott of this year’s Winter Olympics.

Mr Macron said: “We must not politicise the Olympics.

“As with all things on the international stage, I prefer to do things that have a useful effect.”

Mr Macron’s response concerned the rhetoric by the US, Australia and UK to not send officials to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

The boycott is a way to signal to China that the Western nations are opposed to its human rights record.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.

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