On Monday, it was a French teen’s turn to ruffle President Emmanuel Macron’s feathers.
Macron had stopped to greet fans and snap a few pictures after a visit to the Mont Valérien fort near Paris. The memorial honors the many French Resistance members killed during World War II.
One young man caught his attention.
The teen — on the rope line with some friends — sang a couple of lines from the Socialist anthem the “Internationale,” a jab at Macron’s pro-business overhauls. Then, the middle school student greeted Macron with a cheeky, “How’s it going, Manu?” (Manu is a nickname for people named Emmanuel.)
Macron didn’t think it was very funny.
“No, you can’t do that. No, no, no, no,” the French president told the teen.
The young man offered up an embarrassed, “Sorry, Mr. President.”
But Macron wasn’t done with his lesson.
“You’re here, at an official ceremony, and you should behave,” he said. “You can play the fool, but today it’s the 'Marseillaise,' the 'Chant des Partisans' [French Resistance song], so you call me Mr. President or sir. Okay? There you go.”
He also told the student he needed to “do things in the right order.”
“The day you want to start a revolution, you study first in order to obtain a degree and feed yourself, okay? And then you can lecture others,” he said.
It was not the first time the prickly president has used colorful language to lash out at critics. Last year, he called opponents of his labor overhauls, which cut social services and weakened worker protections, “slackers.” In a video last week, he told voters the French were spending “crazy amounts of dough” on social security.
He has chastised journalists for having the audacity to ask questions, lecturing them at news conferences and accusing them of acting without a moral code.