Europe

France Bastille Day: 'Complex thinker' Macron 'to skip press conference'

French President Emmanuel Macron and other EU leaders speak to the media following a meeting of European Union leaders at the Chancellery on June 29, 2017 in Berlin, Germany Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Emmanuel Macron's detractors like to portray him as elitist and aloof

French President Emmanuel Macron will break with tradition and not give a news conference on Bastille Day because his "complex thoughts" may prove too much for journalists, reports say.

A presidential source said Mr Macron's thinking did not "lend itself" to a question and answer session.

The comments, quoted by Le Monde, are likely to be seized on by Mr Macron's critics who portray him as arrogant.

Mr Macron had never stood for election before the presidential race.

The former investment banker has enjoyed a meteoric political rise and his new party, La République en Marche (Republic on the Move), is set to dominate parliament.

Bastille Day, on 14 July, marks the date in 1789 when a mob stormed a prison in Paris, helping to start the French Revolution.

It is a long-standing tradition that the president will be interviewed by the press during the day, but it seems Mr Macron has other ideas.

Le Monde quotes the source as saying that the president did not "baulk" at speaking to the media.

However, "his 'complex thought process' lends itself badly to the game of question-and-answer with journalists", the paper notes.

It is not clear exactly on which subjects Mr Macron felt his thoughts might bamboozle journalists.

Needless to say, the reported remarks brought a strong response on social media.

"Not-making-this-up dept: Macron doesn't do Q&A w/ journalists because his thoughts are much 'too complex'," tweeted Politico writer Pierre Briançon.

Image copyright Twitter

"Infatuation with Macron is showing cracks," tweeted Paris-based writer Matthew Fraser.

This year's Bastille Day has already attracted international attention after US President Donald Trump accepted an invitation to attend.

Mr Macron has sharply criticised his US counterpart over his decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord.

Their first meeting on 25 May in Brussels was notable for a handshake which saw them grip each other's hand so firmly that their knuckles turned white.

Mr Macron later said the handshake was "not innocent".

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