The coronavirus crisis is proving to be a challenging test for many leaders around the globe. While New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been showered with praise for her “master class” response to the pandemic, many have seen their ratings dramatically drop and could soon be fighting for their survival. This is the case for French President Emmanuel Macron, whose popularity has waned compared to that of his outgoing Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe.
In June, Mr Macron’s approval rating dropped to 38 percent from 39 percent a month ago, while Mr Philippe’s approval rating gained four points to 50 percent, according to a poll by Ifop for the Journal Du Dimanche newspaper.
Earlier this month, a BVA survey for RTL and Orange showed that Mr Philippe has been gaining in popularity during the pandemic, with 54 percent of respondents saying they trust him, with just over 38 percent for Mr Macron.
The polls, combined with Mr Philipp’s resignation, renewed speculation that the mayor of the Normandy port of Le Havre could mount a challenge against Mr Macron for the presidency in 2022 — picking up many voters on the centre-right.
As the French leader’s popularity is failing, unearthed reports reveal the staggering amount he spent on makeup in his first three months as President.
According to a 2017 report by Le Point magazine, Mr Macron’s personal makeup artist put in two claims for payment, one for €10,000 (£9,007) and another for €16,000 (£14,412) for doing his makeup during his travels and ahead of press conferences.
The Elysée Palace said in response: “We called in a contractor as a matter of urgency.”
Many Twitter users were shocked and amused by how much money the French leader spent on maintaining his good looks.
One of them joked that with so much money being spent on makeup, he felt like Kim Kardashian had been elected as French president instead of Mr Macron.
The user wrote: “Macron spends €8,700 a month on makeup.
“Kim Kardashian was elected to the Élysée Palace!”
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One Elysée official said: “The sum covers various services including press conferences and foreign trips where the person concerned has to travel with him.
“The bill is high but less than his predecessor’s”.
His predecessor, François Hollande, spent €30,000 (£27,002) per quarter on makeup, including the salary of a makeup artist.
In addition, Mr Hollande paid his hairdresser a gross salary of €9,895 (£8,9112) a month.
Nicolas Sarkozy spent slightly less on his makeup than Macron — €8,000 (£7,206) a month.