Watch humiliating moment Macron tries to subtly remove his £2,000 watch as he’s blasted over hated pension reforms | The SunMarch 24, 2023
THIS is the humiliating moment Emmanuel Macron tried to subtly remove his £2,000 watch from his wrist while discussing his bitterly contested pension reforms.
The French President was seen tactfully slipping the luxury timepiece off during a prime-time televised debate on Wednesday.
Critics said his clumsy display of wealth during the 30-minute interview was further proof he is "president of the rich."
Last week, the French leader raised the retirement age from 62 to 64 without a parliamentary vote, which sparked outrage.
While defending his controversial decision – which has triggered violent protests across the country – Macron sported a large watch on his left wrist.
It featured a blue face and black strap to correspond with the colours of the President's security unit.
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Viewers clocked that the watch had vanished 11 minutes into the conversation, moments after Macron place his left arm under the table.
As he doubled down on his controversial pension reform, the leader animated his point with his arms – and awkwardly hit the watch on the table.
Macron then continued to field questions while sliding his hand under the table and fidgeting to undo the timepiece.
He then placed his arm above the table to reveal an empty wrist.
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Outraged social media users initially speculated that the watch was made by F.P Journe and cost a whopping £70,000.
But it is worth far less than originally claimed. According to France Info, it is a BRV 1-92 model of French company Bell&Ross valued at £2,110.
Macron has been wearing the same watch for the past year and a half and he was spotted wearing during the World Cup in Qatar.
The French President's office insisted that he had only removed it because it was "clinking on the table".
Critics were quick to condemn Macron for wearing the pricey watch while enforcing reforms that have incensed low-paid workers.
Clémence Guetté, an MP from the France Unbowed party of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, said: "Just as he is talking about ‘minimum wage workers’ who have never had such high purchasing power, he discreetly removes his pretty luxury watch."
The French president likes to be known as "the master of the clocks", meaning he decides to speak and act at a time of his choosing.
It is a fitting pseudonym for Macron, who broke his silence on the chaos erupting across the country during the sitdown.
He insisted the pension reform and raising the age of retirement was necessary and it will be implemented later this year.
The President said he wanted the government to make changes that would ensure that companies share more of their profits with their staff.
Although there were no major protests planned for Friday, commuters still faced mammoth delays on roads and transport links.
King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla have been forced to postpone their state visit to France following protests.
The couple were due to travel on Sunday but the trip will be rescheduled as soon as possible, the French president's office said.
Anti-Macron demonstrations had loomed over the upcoming visit, the first to France of his reign, amid tensions over pension reform.
More than a million activists have taken to the streets from Paris to Marseille to campaign against the change.
While many demos were peaceful, violence erupted when officers clashed with masked groups, some of whom lit a fire at the historic City Hall in the South West city of Bordeaux.
There were at least 903 acts of arson in the capital alone, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said.
Looters have targeted shops, ransacked branches of McDonald's, smashed up bus shelters, demolished public seating and torched mounds of rubbish.
Riot police used tear gas, batons, stun grenades and water canons to try to disperse the crowds chanting "revolution".
Some 149 cops were seriously injured and 172 people were arrested across the country.
Protesters planned to target a lavish state banquet at Versailles and a trip to Bordeaux from Sunday to Wednesday.
Drivers of a tram the royals were set to use were going to strike.
Thousands of workers, including bin collectors, are already staging walkouts, leaving tonnes of waste piling up on pavements.
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Trade Unions have warned that the social unrest will worsen unless Mr Macron reverses his "incomprehensible" pension reforms.
The caution pushed Ryanair and easyJet to warn holidaymakers travelling to France to expect disruption to flights.
Emmanuel Macron’s pension reforms
EMMANUEL Macron pushed his controversial pension reform through parliament without a vote.
The French leader used an emergency presidential decree that enabled the government to pass legislation without a vote to hike the retirement age from 62 to 64.
Macron used the special constitutional power as he faced losing a ballot to get the reform through.
The pension reforms have sparked weeks of strikes and protests in the country.
As well as raising the retirement age by two years, it also requires an extra year of contributions to the national pension scheme.
Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne defended the move stating that the reforms are an essential method of sustaining pension system.
"We cannot gamble on the future our pensions, this reform is necessary."
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