Macron 'not capable' of leading EU says expert

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The gesture of placing the EU flag in the iconic Arc de Triomphe, which houses the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, was to mark the beginning of France’s turn in the rotating presidency of the European Union. It was also one met with immediate condemnation from long-time political rival, Marine Le Pen, who called on the French president to “take down” the EU flag.

Ms Le Pen said: “To adorn the Arc de Triomphe with the sole colours of the European Union, without the presence of a national flag, is a real attack on our nation’s identity.

“This monument honours our military victories and houses the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.”

She added the French leader was “betraying the duties of his office and displaying arrogant contempt for our history for the sake of personal ambition”.

Under Mr Macron’s leadership, France has been one of the most invested voices in the European Union and has pushed further integration of the member states.

The decision by Mr Macron to decorate the national monument with an EU flag, rather than a patriotic symbol, drew contempt from readers in the UK.

Express.co.uk reader GordonsAlive! commented: “I actually feel sorry for the French having Macron as a leader.

“I know we like to have a bit of banter on here but all the French people I have met have been nice.

“Replacing the French flag with an EU flag is ridiculous.

“Just another form of brainwashing.”

Another with the screen-name A. J. McGinlay wrote: “You don’t honour service men by flying a flag that had no significance to them!

“The argument that the EU flag represents some sort of peace flag is irrelevant.”

Express.co.uk reader Sandel reacted: “Why should the flag replacement be an outrage to just the Right?

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“Every Frenchman should be outraged,”

Another, Scoobyroo, commented: “Unfortunately most of the countries in the EU have lost their identity and are all just blurred into one, completely brainwashed.

“They need to wake up to fanatics like Macron.”

Far-right candidate for president in the upcoming French elections, Ms Le Pen, was joined by contender Eric Zemmour in her condemnation of Mr Macron’s choice.

He said that he was “outraged” at the substitution of the tricolour for the EU emblem.

French Junior European Affairs Minister, Clement Beaune, attempted to dispel the controversy surrounding the display in a post on social media.

He wrote: “The French flag has not been replaced.

“The election campaign is not a free pass for petty lies and controversies.”

The presidential elections are fast approaching in April, soon followed by the parliamentary elections in June.

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