Emmanuel Macron visits French Guiana: “I am not Father Christmas”

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It is too bad this Agence France-Presse article—“’Won’t help your schoolwork’: Emmanuel Macron sniffs marijuana on French Guiana trip”—focuses on how President Emmanuel Macron caught a whiff of marijuana during his visit, rather than delve into the details that led the people in Cayenne to stage demonstrations at the start of his trip. But it concludes with the mention that Macron said he had not come to “make grand promises that are hot air,” that “I am not Father Christmas” and that he would not treat people like children. Interesting. Now we need a follow-up article!

French president Emmanuel Macron played it cool when he caught a whiff of marijuana during his visit to French Guiana, warning youngsters it won’t “help with your schoolwork”.

“So, there are some of you who do not only smoke cigarettes, huh?”, he said to laughter after posing for photos with locals in the Crique neighbourhood of capital Cayenne on Friday night. “That will not help with your schoolwork,” he could be heard telling the smokers on a video posted on the presidential Facebook page in the overseas territory. “You have to tell the youngest!”

Macron wrapped up his 48-hour visit to the impoverished South American territory, which borders northern Brazil, on Saturday. The French president faced demonstrations at the start of his trip over the issue of aid. Many locals feel they are overlooked by the government in Paris, with unemployment at 23%, large amounts of immigration, pot-holed roads and poor public infrastructure compared with mainland France. The protests came six months after unrest erupted over security problems and unemployment.

Macron said he had not come to “make grand promises that are hot air”, and said past promises had not been kept. He added: “I am not Father Christmas” and that he would not treat people like children.

For original article, see https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/29/emmanuel-macron-marijuana-french-guiana

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