Macron laughs off his ‘delicious’ faux pas in Australia

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday laughed off the global sniggers he prompted after describing the wife of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as "delicious".

Macron laughs off his 'delicious' faux pas in Australia

The faux pas — “delicieux” in French can also mean “delightful” — caused  widespread mirth, with one Sydney tabloid mocking up a nearly full-page photo  of Macron with the cartoon head of Pepe le Pew, the lovelorn French skunk.

“A newspaper had some fun and it made me laugh a lot, especially since in  the original cartoon the character has a French accent,” Macron told reporters shortly before leaving Sydney at the end of a two-day visit.

Macron, who demonstrated his excellent grasp of English during numerous  speeches and remarks in Sydney, added that “there is not a European leader who gives all his speeches in English”.

The incident occurred at the end of a joint press conference on Wednesday  when Macron turned to Turnbull and said: “Thank you and your delicious wife for the warm welcome”.

At a private dinner later that night with Turnbull and wife Lucy, the hubbub over his remark “had them laughing a lot”, he said.

The tweet below shows Macron laughing as he looks at the Australian tabloid's front page.

Turnbull also commented on the gaffe, saying his wife “was very flattered” by the youthful French president's comment.

“She's asked me to say that she found the president's compliment as charming as it was memorable,” he said.

“President Macron charmed Australia. He certainly charmed all of us, all the Turnbulls. I think he is a great friend of Australia.”

Some in the Australian media and on Twitter were not so gracious, playing on the French reputation for romantic flair.

“Ooh La La, it's a French miss,” headlined the main story in the Sydney Daily Telegraph.

 The newspaper's photo-shopped front page bore the headline “President Pepe le Pew”, a reference to the Warner Brothers cartoon character who spends most of his time in luckless pursuit of a female cat. 

“You can take the man out of France but…” tweeted Buzzfeed Australia journalist Alice Workman, while another user took a light-hearted jab at “the 
Gaul of that man”.

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Macron to make live TV broadcast to France

French president Emmanuel Macron will make a live TV broadcast to the nation about the war in Ukraine.

Macron to make live TV broadcast to France

Macron will be on TV on Wednesday at 8pm, the Elysée confirmed earlier on Wednesday.

Macron also tweeted the announcement, saying that his speech will be on the subject of the war in Ukraine.

His office added that the president’s speech “will not touch on other matters” – Macron has only until Friday to confirm whether or not he is running for re-election.

It is widely considered to be extremely unlikely that he would not stand in the April elections, but all candidates have until Friday, March 4th, to make their declaration.

Macron’s team had previously announced a rally in Marseille on Saturday, March 5th, which was expected to be the first official campaign event, but on Tuesday this was cancelled because of the ongoing international crisis.

Macron was at the forefront of international efforts to find a diplomatic resolution to the crisis, and since Russia invaded Ukraine he has remained in close contact with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, and has also spoken – at the request of Zelensky – to Russian premier Vladimir Putin.

The Local will be following Macron’s speech live from 8pm HERE.