Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro commented on a social media post that contrasted his 33-year-old wife Michelle with Emmanuel Macron's 66-year-old wife Brigitte.
French President Emmanuel Macron is furious at the antics of his counterpart Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil.
The post contrasted Macron’s wife with 63-year-old Brazil President’s wife, Michelle, who is 37.
“Now you understand why Macron is persecuting Bolsonaro?” it reads.
In response to the comment, Bolsonaro wrote (in Portuguese): “Do not humiliate (him)… man, ha ha.”
When asked about the Brazil leader’s remark, Macron said it was “extraordinarily rude” and “sad”.
“He said very disrespectful things about my wife. I have great respect for the Brazilian people and can only hope they soon have a president who is up to the job,” Macron said at a news conference at the G7 summit in Biarritz.
The exchange highlights the acrimony between Macron and Bolsonaro over the fires in Amazonia.
Macron described the fires as an “international crisis”, which critics have blamed on Bolsonaro’s anti-environmental rhetoric and lack of action on deforestation. Bolsonaro accused Macron of having a “colonialist mentality”.
The Group of Seven nations pledged US$40 million to help fight the fires burning in the Amazon and protect its rainforest, which Macron called “the lungs of the planet”.
The Group of Seven will send US$20 million, an additional US$12 million from the UK and $$11 million from Canada, which has also offered to send planes capable of carrying water to Brazil.
More than US$1 billion has been paid into a fund to help the Amazon in the past decade. Germany and Norway recently cut donations to Brazilian forestry projects, claiming Bolsonaro was not committed to curbing deforestation.
Earth Alliance, a new environmental foundation backed by Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, is also pledging US$5 million in aid, after stating that the Amazon is one of the “best defences” against climate change.