The British Guardian reported on the 24th (local time) that French President Emmanuel Macron was accused of wearing an expensive watch during a live interview on pension reform. The image of a ‘rich president’, cut off from the public, seems to fuel the anger of the French people who oppose pension reform.
The incident occurred during a broadcast interview that was broadcast live across the country on the 22nd.
While persuading the need for pension reform, which extended the retirement age by two years, President Macron was spotted sneaking off a ‘luxurious’ wristwatch. Caught by some ‘sharp’ viewers, the footage quickly went viral on social media.
According to foreign media, about 10 minutes after the start of the interview, the sound of the clock hitting each time President Macron put his arm on the desk was heard until he took it off. President Macron soon lowered his arm under his desk, and when he raised it again, the watch was missing from his left wrist.
The public criticized President Macron as a ‘rich president’, claiming that the watch costs 80,000 euros (about 112 million won).
Criticism is that, after raising the retirement age for French workers from 62 to 64 and allowing them to work for two more years, he himself wore a luxury watch and was cut off from the public while persuading him to do so.
At the time, President Macron said, “I will choose the national interest even if I give up popularity.” Regarding this, the opposition party and the people fiercely criticized him for “showing an arrogant and condescending attitude.”
Others claimed that the wristwatch, which was described as a ‘luxury watch’, cost less than 2400 euros. French media reported that the watch was produced by the French company ‘Bell & Ross’ and costs between 1,600 and 2,400 euros (approximately 2.23 million to 3.35 million won).
As the situation grew, the Elysée Palace issued a statement and said, “The president did not remove the watch to hide it, but because the watch kept knocking on the table,” and “the sound can be clearly heard in the video shared on social media.” .
An aide to President Macron told the French press, “He wore (this watch) often for more than a year and a half. He can also be seen on his Instagram account and official photos,” he said.
The day after this broadcast, 1 million people (3 million from the organizers) came out across France to protest against the pension reform. The 10th large-scale rally is scheduled for the coming 28th.
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.