EXCLUSIVE: The Elysee Palace has announced the King’s first state visit of his reign has been postponed as violent protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s retirement age reforms continue across France.
Macron no longer has ‘control’ of France, says Gallois
Speaking at a news conference after a summit in Brussels, Macron said: “We would not be serious … to make a state visit in the middle of protests.”
He added that proceeding with the visit that had been scheduled to start Sunday “would have prompted incidents” that would have been “detestable.”
He said Charles’s visit would likely would be rescheduled for the beginning of summer.
He said: “We have proposed that, in early summer, depending on our respective agendas, we can together arrange a new state visit.”
He said it should be under conditions that will allow the monarch to “enjoy France”.
The French leader came under fire for the decision to cancel the state visit. Generation Frexit leader, Charles-Henri Gallois told Express.co.uk the move proves the French leader no longer has control of the turmoil in his country.
He said: “It’s a terrible sign for Macron. It means he does not have control of his country anymore. He can no longer pretend it’s business as usual.”
Fellow researcher at the Henry Jackson Society Dr Helena Ivanov also told this website President Macron will not be seen in a favourable light at home and internationally after this decision.
She said: “France finds itself in a very complicated situation. It is quite reasonable that the visit is postponed – otherwise it would have been overshadowed by the protests.
“Macron now finds himself in what is an incredibly difficult situation. These protests have already escalated massively, and thorny questions remain about what happens next and if Macron can control these protests.
“Obviously, none of this is good for him either locally or internationally.”
Buckingham Palace confirmed the visit was cancelled
In a statement, the Elysee said: “In light of yesterday’s announcement of a new national day of action against pension reforms on Tuesday, March 28, in France, the visit of King Charles III, originally scheduled for March 26 to 29 in our country, will be postponed.
“This decision was taken by the French and British governments after a telephone exchange between the President of the Republic and the King this morning, in order to be able to welcome His Majesty King Charles III in conditions that correspond to our friendly relationship.
“This state visit will be rescheduled as soon as possible.”
Buckingham Palace also confirmed the postponement in a statement: “The King and The Queen Consort’s state visit to France has been postponed.
Charles and Camilla were due to travel from France to Germany for a state visit, from next Wednesday to Friday, and it is understood the visit to Berlin will proceed as planned.
In France, politicians and media professionals have also warned the decision will make the country look bad internationally.
Renaud Pila, of LCI, said: “The postponement of the visit of King Charles III gives the social conflict in France a worldwide echo because it will be in all the world press.”
Delvau Frank, President of the Union of hotel trades and industries, echoed: “King Charles III’s visit to France postponed. Very bad news for the image of our country. The chaos must stop.”
And Gilles Platret, Mayor of Chalon-sur-Saone, added: “The image we give to the outside world is deplorable. The only one responsible is the one who broke the social contract: Emmanuel Macron. And with him, his sad allies of circumstance…”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK