FRENCH President Emmanuel Macron has faced widespread criticism on social media after his spokesman wrote an article in which he appeared to refer to the President as “king”, whose touch is “performative”.
Writing in Le Monde newspaper Bruno Roger-Petit, Macron’s spokesman and former journalist, said: "For Emmanuel Macron, the touch is fundamental; it's a second language.
“It is a performative touch: 'The king touches you, God heals you.' This is a form of transcendence.”
Mr Roger-Petit described Mr Macron’s “accession to the Elysee palace” in his article entitled ‘Emmanuel Macron, one year of imperious presidency’, and described his first year in office as having “monarchical symbolism”.
The “King-God” connotation is widely used in old French tradition, where French monarchs would touch their citizens in a bid to heal them of diseases.
But the article drew sharp criticism on social media in the historically republican nation for comparing the President to a monarch.
One twitter user mocked the article, stating: “If he could for starters heal empty wallets.”
Another tweeted: "I don't know if King Emmanuel Macron cures everything he touches, but his courtesan counsellors have a fever!”
Other commentators criticised Le Monde for showing bias in publishing an article which was manifestly pro-Macron.
One individual noted: "I thought for a moment that I was reading a propaganda article. And then I pulled myself together.”