by Staff writer
Pictures of French president Emmanuel Macron posing for photos with two young men at Saint Martin (Carribbeaan Island) has sparked an online controversy because one of the men showed the middle finger to the cameras.
The pictures were taken last year during Macron’s visit to the Caribbean Island, during Hurricane Irma devastation.
The French leader was followed by a host of photographers as he walked for five hours, despite sporadic rain, entered homes and talked to the locals about their life and rebuilding after the tragedy.
Inside one of the houses Macron visited, the president came across two bare-chested young men wearing bandannas. One of them told the French leader that he was a “robber” and was recently released from prison.
The president wasn’t at all perplexed by such confession as he told the guy that he should leave his criminal past behind and take part in the reconstruction.
He then went on hugging the men and posing for photos with them as one showed a middle finger.
The opposition in France was quick to re-post the photo, using the embarrassing moment as chance to grill Macron.
Many on Twitter also criticized the photos.
The French president in his defense said the pictures were criticized out of context and, on the contrary, proved that he “loved each and every child of the Republic, whatever mischief they make”.
Macron said that his goal was to help all of the Saint Martin youth.
“I love every child of the Republic, whatever mischief they make,” he explained.