French President Emmanuel Macron looked visibly surprised as he was booed by the crowd taking the pitch of France’s national stadium for the Rugby World Cup opening ceremony on Friday.
In one of his first major public appearances since France was plagued with riots following the Government’s controversial pension reforms and the racially charged riots over a police shooting of an Algerian heritage teenager, Macron was faced with the harsh reality of what the French people really thought of him.
There were many French celebrities at the event who were embraced by the crowd, but this wasn’t the case for Macron.
Appearing before a mock Eiffel Tower, Macron appeared shocked by the backlash from the public.
“King Macron has been booed by the French people! We are never going to leave him in peace!” said Manuel Bompard, a senior figure in the France Unbowed (LFI) hard-left party.
“The people have not forgotten the insults and the pension reform. He had the welcome he deserved,” added Bastien Lachaud, LFI deputy for Seine-Saint-Denis, the area where the Stade de France is located just outside Paris.
Macron’s popularity among the French people has plummeted since he secured reelection last year.
Now, with the cost of living crisis along with draconian measures the country has faced, Macron could be the most hated French president in history.
Meanwhile, Macron’s Government pushed through a raise to the pension age in the National Assembly without a vote, sparking months of protests.
Macron has minimized public appearances due to the backlash against his policies, but now, the public anger is as fresh as ever.