August 26, 2019

Macron attacks extraordinarily rude Bolsonaro after insults about wife Brigitte
A war of words broke out between the presidents of France and Brazil as Emmanuel Macron responded angrily on Monday to Jair Bolsonaro’s “extraordinarily rude comments” about his wife Brigitte. Mr Bolsanaro appeared to endorse a Facebook comment posted by one of his supporters mocking Mr Macron, 41, for being married to a woman who is nearly 25 years his senior.  The comment suggested that Mr Macron was attacking Mr Bolsonaro over the Amazon fires because the Brazilian president was married to a much younger woman. “[Mr Bolsonaro] has made some extraordinarily rude comments about my wife,” Mr Macron said at a press conference. “What can I say? It’s sad for him, firstly, and for Brazilians … I think Brazilian women will probably be ashamed to read that from their president.” He added: “As I feel friendship and respect for the Brazilian people, I hope that they will very soon have a president who behaves in the right way.” The Facebook comments which the French president found offensive appeared below a picture of the Macrons beside one of Mr Bolsonaro, 64, and his wife Michelle, 37 years his junior. Brigitte Macron, wife of the French President (C) poses with children and Japan's Prime Minister's wife Akie Abe(R) during a meeting with surfers at the Cote des Basques beach, in Biarritz Credit: AFP “Do you understand now why Macron persecutes Bolsonaro?” read a comment under the pictures. Mr Bolsonaro posted a response: “Don’t humiliate the guy. Ha ha.” Abraham Weintraub, Brazil’s education minister, joined the attack on Mr Macron on Sunday with a Twitter post calling him a “calhorda", a Portuguese term designating a rascal or a cretin. The row between Mr Macron and Mr Bolsonaro broke out over the French president’s attempt last week to put international pressure on Brazil to deal with vast fires that were raging unchecked in the Amazon. He threatened to block ratification of an ambitious free trade pact between the EU and the South American common market, Mercosur, until the fires were put out. Mr Bolsonaro, a far-Right climate sceptic, accused the centrist French president of having “a colonial mindset” and interfering in Brazil’s domestic affairs by declaring the fires to be a global emergency. Mr Macron retorted that Mr Bolsonaro had “lied” about his environmental commitments at the G20 summit in Japan in June. “President Bolsonaro has decided not to respect his commitments on the climate. nor to involve himself on the issue of biodiversity,” he said.
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