Macron makes explosive claim that Poland is led by a ‘far-right anti-Semite,’ accuses Polish PM Morawiecki of attempting to interfere in French election

French President Emmanuel Macron, adresses the media before a meeting with Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Wednesday, March 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
By Thomas Brooke
3 Min Read

French President Emmanuel Macron has described Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki as a “far-right anti-Semite” in response to criticism aimed at the French president over his attempts to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“You cannot negotiate with those who commit genocide!” Morawiecki told a press conference on Tuesday in the aftermath of the Bucha massacre of Ukrainian civilians at the hands of Russian soldiers. The Polish prime minister singled out Macron for particular criticism, asking him: “President Macron, how many times have you negotiated with Putin? What have you achieved?

French President Emmanuel Macron, left, is pictured shaking hands with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, someone he now claims is a “far-right anti-Semite.” (Francois Lenoir, Pool Photo via AP)

“Have you stopped any of those activities? You don’t negotiate with criminals, you fight them. No one negotiated with Hitler. Would any of you negotiate with Hitler, Stalin, with Pol Pot?” he added.

The incumbent French president dismissed the critique as the opportunistic ramblings of a “far-right anti-Semite” who has historically hosted Macron’s presidential rival Marine Le Pen and supports her, according to Macron.

“The Polish prime minister is a far-right anti-Semite banning LGBT people,” the French president said of Morawiecki.

“He supports Marine Le Pen, whom he has hosted several times. Let’s not be naive, he wants to help her before the elections,” Macron continued, and defended his conversations with Putin as a genuine attempt to “avoid war and build a new architecture of peace in Europe.”

In an interview with the French TV station TF1, he described criticism of the talks with Putin as “scandalous” and “groundless.”

Tensions are high in Paris with the forthcoming presidential election becoming tighter as it grows nearer. The French head to the polls for the first round of elections on Sunday, with polls suggesting that a second round of voting a fortnight later will be necessary to produce a valid result.

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The incumbent Macron has struggled in recent days to retain his top spot, with his strategy blotted by his response to the harrowing death of Jewish man Jérémy Cohen, which has become a flashpoint in France’s presidential election. Macron has also made other controversial remarks, saying the French have no right to self-defense after a farmer shot a burglar trying to break into his house while his 3-year-old daughter was home.

Indeed, for the first time in the election campaign on Friday, a poll by French institute Atlas Intel had arch rival Marine Le Pen ahead of Macron by one percentage point in a second round run-off between the two candidates — Le Pen edging the man she failed to beat five years ago by 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent.

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