French president Emmanuel Macron has declared he will govern France like Jupiter, the Roman king of the gods, shortly after officials told the media his thought process was “too complex” for journalists to understand.
Summoning over 900 politicians from both houses of the French parliament to a rare Congress at the palace of Louis XIV – the ‘Sun King’ – in Versailles, he threatened to overrule lawmakers with a referendum if they try to frustrate the “reforms” he wishes to impose on the legislature. Such assemblies are usually reserved for times of national crisis.
Reuters reports him as saying he desires to reign as a “Jupiterian” president – “a remote, dignified figure, like the Roman god of gods, who weighs his rare pronouncements carefully”.
This bizarre statement of intent comes just days after Macron scrapped the president’s traditional Bastille Day press conference, with an Elysée Palace official claiming the 39-year-old’s thoughts are “too complex” for journalists.
Macron’s “complex thought process lends itself badly to the game of question-and-answer with journalists”, the spokesman explained – prompting much mockery in the French press.
It has been speculated that Macron is keen to cultivate an aloof, almost imperial aura after being derided as a placeman for the unpopular socialist François Hollande, in whose government he served as economy minister, or as a poodle for Angela Merkel, the German chancellor widely regarded as the European Union’s driving force.
“You are the heir of François Hollande,” scoffed nationalist rival Marine Le Pen during their head-to-head election debate. “We now call you Baby Hollande; Hollande Junior!”
She added that, whatever the outcome of the election, “France will be led by a woman: either me or Mrs. Merkel.”