‘Napoleon without the talent!’ Emmanuel Macron humiliated as Polish MEP hits out

Merkel and Macron ‘undermining consensus’ says expert

Mr Macron is currently wrestling with France’s worsening coronavirus numbers, and this week imposed a lockdown to slow down a third wave of the pandemic, despite his previous reluctance to do so. Ryszard Czarnecki, who represents the Law and Justice party in the European Parliament, was asked by Express.co.uk for his verdict on Mr Macron.

Specifically, he was pressed about former Tory Blair spin doctor Alastair Campbell’s suggestion the 43-year-old was poised to assume the mantel of de facto leader of Europe once German Chancellor Angela Merkel steps down later this year.

Mr Czarnecki, the former Polish Minister for Europe, as well as the former vice-president of the European Parliament, said: “Macron would like to be the next incarnation of Napoleon, although he doesn’t seem to have his leadership and military talents.

“The fact that he has set up his own group in the European Parliament, ‘Renew’, shows his aspirations.”

Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron has “no consistent plan”, said Mr Czarnecki (Image: GETTY)

Angela Merkel Emmanuel Macron

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron (Image: GETTY)

Mr Czarnecki explained: “The problem is that he has no consistent plan.

“One day he demands European vaccines export to Africa for free, and next day he speaks about banning export outside the Union.”

Mr Macron won the French presidency in 2017, comfortably defeating Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Rally in the second round of voting.

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Ryszard Czarnecki

Ryszard Czarnecki is an MEP for Poland’s Law and Justice party (Image: GETTY)

He is already gearing up next year’s election, with the potential to win a second five-year term.

In an op-ed for the New European published last month, Mr Campbell considered Mr Macron’s political future, especially given Mrs Merkel’s impending departure.

He wrote: “As Angela Merkel prepares to leave office after 16 years as German chancellor, most of them as indisputably Europe’s most powerful figure, Macron now sees the second-term possibilities of being not just a leader in Europe, but the leader of Europe.

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Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron announced a national lockdown in France this week (Image: GETTY)

Alistair Campbell

Alistair Campbell believes Emmanuel Macron will assume the de facto role of leader of Europe (Image: GETTY)

“Macron sees a route to restored pride through showing France cares not just for the French, but for the world. Even as Johnson’s battered Covid reputation benefited from attaching a Union flag to the vaccine race, and racing ahead of the EU in the delivery of first doses (though not second) Macron refused to engage in vaccine nationalism.

“He, every bit as much as Merkel, was the one driving EU leaders Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel to devise a European strategy, even at the cost of domestic political turbulence amid early errors in Brussels.

“The Macron view: unless the world is vaccinated, the virus keeps winning.”

The challenge Mr Macron is facing to contain the virus within his own country was starkly illustrated yesterday by figures indicating 5,254 people were in intensive care units with COVID-19, an increase of 145 people in one day and the highest daily increase in five months.

Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron factfile (Image: Express)

The risk of emergency wards being unable to cope was one of the main reasons for Mr Macron’s decision to impose a third nationwide lockdown, after unsuccessfully trying for months to contain the epidemic with a curfew and regional lockdowns.

From next week, restrictions will mean schools and non-essential businesses across the country will be closed for four weeks.

Announcing the lockdown on Wednesday, Mr Macron said the number of ICU beds will be raised from 7,000 to over 10,000.

At the height of the first lockdown in spring 2020, France saw a high of 7,148 COVID-19 patients in ICUs – but that number fell back to a few hundred in August after the strict first lockdown.

Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte was Emperor of France in the early 19th century (Image: GETTY)

During November’s less strict lockdown, ICU numbers peaked at just under 5,000 – but have remained high and only briefly dipped under 3,000 in December.

With new infections increasing rapidly, doctors believe the third wave will peak within a fortnight, with another increase in ICU numbers.

On Friday, new confirmed cases jumped by the highest week-on-week rate since the end of November, when France was in its second nationwide lockdown.

The government reported 46,677 new cases, 6.2 percent more than a week ago, bringing the total to 4.74 million cases.

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