The day turned out to be sad and unpopular, the only two qualifiers that come to mind. His artificial status was exposed when Macron was even booed by the few individuals present on the Champs-Élysées.
La cérémonie du 8 mai en images pic.twitter.com/f2Zn01ww8N
— CNEWS (@CNEWS) May 8, 2019
Macron laid a wreath at a statue of Charles de Gaulle on the Champs-Elysees avenue, and then proceeded to commemorations at the nearby Arc de Triomphe monument. Driving down the famous avenue, the French president – standing in his vehicle – waved energetically… at nobody.
In the French mainstream media, the images of his ridiculous gestures were edited so as to hide his unpopularity. But on social media, users mocked Macron.
Viele Fernsehsender zeigten Szenen wie der französische Präsident #Macron in Paris lächelnd "in die Menge" winkte. Diese Einstellung zeigt: Die jubelnde Menge gab es nicht. 🤥 #FakeNews #Europawahl2019 pic.twitter.com/lOHu5vVxNn
— ExGruene (@ExGruene) May 11, 2019
Paris police chief Didier Lallement decreed on Monday that no protests would be permitted in the vicinity of the monument and the avenue for the day, to prevent any disruption of the “solemn ceremonies”.
The decision was taken due to “the tense current social context, marked by recurring violent demonstrations during which security forces are systematically targeted by a radical splinter group of protesters”, read a police statement posted to Twitter.
But the glaring absence of any other supporters did not stop the French leader from continuously waving at empty spaces along the way.
Many of the few disinterested individuals which were spotted on Champs-Elysees, which stretches from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde near the Tuileries garden and Louvre museum, did not even bother to look up at the madly waving president, while some even booed him.
France’s government had announced a return to form, with Culture Minister Franck Riester saying last Friday that 1.2 million euros had been spent restoring the Arc de Triomphe in time for VE Day celebrations.
“The restoration has been done in only a few months, which is very fast,” Riester praised the Macron administration.
BFMTV blamed the weather for the lack of support and said the rain had stopped people from coming to see the president.
— A&A Nina ⚠️👁 (@AA36514431) May 8, 2019