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French president’s trolling of Donald Trump delights the French AND Americans

Of all the reactions from global leaders to Donald Trump's decision to abandon the Paris climate deal, there was only one they were talking about on Twitter and in the press on both sides of the Atlantic for that matter.

French president's trolling of Donald Trump delights the French AND Americans
Photo: Screengrab France24

Shortly after Donald Trump made a not-so-shock announcement to withdraw the US from the Paris climate deal, the reactions from disappointed world leaders began to roll in.

But the one that grabbed all the attention and the headlines was from the French President Emmanuel Macron, who once again showed he knows how to impress on the world stage.

For a start Macron was quick off the blocks, taking to French TV at midnight local time to make a speech to the nation.

But how he really impressed and surprised viewers was by making his speech both in French and English. See the video below.

For a start French presidents don't normally speak English at all, let alone have the nerve and language ability to deliver a statement on live TV in Shakespeare's tongue.

And it's fair to say it went down well both in France and over the pond in America where Macron seems to be developing a huge following due to his willingness to stand up to both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

AS usual Twitter was the first place to react.

Indeed many Americans were so impressed with Macron's English that it led them to mock the ability of their own president to speak his native language.

But the real crowd winner was Macron's trolling of Donald Trump when he ended his speech by twisting the US president's campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” to “”Make Our Planet Great Again.”

Macron even tweeted this image out and it soon went viral, getting 100,000 retweets.

That prompted the hashtag #makeourplanetgreatagain to top the Twitter trends in France.

But then Macron twisted the knife even further and told Americans disappointed with their new president to come to France to help battle climate change. And judging by many tweets, a lot of which were a little abusive to include here, many Americans (or at least those who don't like Trump) would be happy to take him up on the offer.

Macron's rebuke went down well on both sides of the Atlantic with the American press appreciating his “sermon” to Donald Trump and the French press acknowledging the ingenuity of his decision to give a speech in English. 

One article in Le Point magazine talked of how Macron had made the French feel proud of their president again who had in just three weeks become the “leader of the free world”.

While Macron may be under a little pressure at home, given the scandal that has surrounded one of his ministers, it's fair to say he has made an almighty impression in the international sphere in just under three weeks since he was inaugurated.

Although after his efforts last night he'd be forgiven for being a little hesitant next time he has to shake Donald Trump's hand.

READ ALSO: 'A moment of truth': Macron says he was ready for Trump handshake

 

 

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TAXES

France aims for US digital tax deal by late August, despite Trump opposition

France wants to reach a deal with the US on taxing tech giants by a G7 meeting in late August, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said Saturday.

France aims for US digital tax deal by late August, despite Trump opposition
French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire. Photo: AFP

He was responding to US President Donald Trump, who on Friday vowed “substantial” retaliation against France for a law passed this month on taxing digital companies even if their headquarters are elsewhere.

The law would affect US-based global giants like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, among others.

Trump denounced French President Emmanuel Macron's “foolishness”, though they discussed the issue by phone on Friday, according to the White House.

Macron confirmed that he had a “long” conversation with Trump, stressing the pair would “continue to work together in view of the G7”.

“We will discuss international taxation, trade and collective security”, he said Saturday.

His office earlier said Macron had told Trump that the tax on the tech giants was not just in France's interest but was something they both had a stake in.

Neither side revealed if they had also discussed Trump's threat to tax French wines in retaliation.

Le Maire took the same line at a news conference Saturday: “We wish to work closely with our American friends on a universal tax on digital activities.

“We hope between now and the end of August — the G7 heads of state meeting in Biarritz — to reach an agreement.”

Leaders of the Group of Seven highly industrialised countries are to meet in the southwestern French city on August 24-26.

Le Maire emphasised that “there is no desire to specifically target American companies,” since the three-percent tax would be levied on revenues generated from services to French consumers by all of the world's largest tech firms, including Chinese and European ones. 

But Deputy White House spokesman Judd Deere noted earlier that France's digital services tax was already the subject of an investigation at the US Trade Representative's office, potentially opening the door to economic sanctions.

“The Trump administration has consistently stated that it will not sit idly by and tolerate discrimination against US-based firms,” Deere said in a statement. 

The French law aims to plug a taxation gap that has seen some internet heavyweights paying next to nothing in European countries where they make huge profits, because their legal base is in smaller EU states.

France has said it would withdraw the tax if an international agreement was reached, and Paris hopes to include all OECD countries by the end of 2020.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is a Paris-based forum that advises the world's advanced economies.

READ ALSO: 'I like the way they look': Teetotaler Trump prefers US wine to French

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