Rio de Janeiro (AFP)
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Sunday rebuked an offensive comment for first lady Brigitte Macron, while one of his ministers treated French head of state Emmanuel Macron as an "opportunistic cretin".
These unprecedented attacks marked a sharp escalation in tensions between Brasilia and Paris, brightened in recent days by the pressure exerted by France, which received a summit of the G7, Jair Bolsonaro to act against the dramatic fires in the Amazon.
Mr. Bolsonaro reacted to a post that made fun of the physique of the first French lady - appearing on a photo disadvantageous - by comparing it to that of Michelle Bolsonaro (37 years), radiant on the day of the investiture of her husband.
"Now you understand why Macron is persecuting Bolsonaro?", Reads next to photos of the two presidential couples. "It's the jealousy (...) of Macron, I bet," writes the user, Rodrigo Andreaça.
"Do not embarrass the guy - MDR (" death of laughter "), commented President Bolsonaro in reference to his French counterpart.
Asked by AFP whether this post had been published by the head of state himself, a spokesman for Planalto's presidential palace simply replied: "We do not comment".
Also Sunday, Emmanuel Macron was heavily insulted on Twitter by the Brazilian Minister of Education.
"Macron is not at the height of this debate (on the Amazon, ed.) It is just an opportunist idiot who seeks the support of the French agricultural lobby," wrote Minister Abraham Weintraub, referring to the French President's opposition to the EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement.
The term used in Portuguese ("calhorda"), very far from the diplomatic uses, has no exact equivalent in French but is at the crossroads of "cheater", "moron" and "asshole".
"France is a country of extremes, it has produced men like Descartes or Pasteur, but also the volunteers of the Waffen SS Charlemagne", writes Mr. Weintraub in reference to the Charlemagne Division of the Nazi regime integrated by French volunteers .
In the midst of a flurry of tweets, the Minister of Education continues: "They have chosen a president without character" and "we must attack this idiot Macron".
- Diplomatic affront -
Olavo de Carvalho, writer and "guru" of Jair Bolsonaro, exiled in the United States, for its part forged on Twitter the name of "Macrocon", at the moment when the Bolsonarist sphere is unleashed against the French president.
The son of Jair Bolsonaro, Eduardo - deputy federal and possible future ambassador of Brazil in Washington - had retweeted Friday a video of violent demonstrations of yellow vests in France with the text: "Macron is an idiot".
The Amazon has thrown oil on the fire of a Franco-Brazilian relationship that has strained after the arrival in power in Brasilia of the far-right president.
Jair Bolsonaro inflicted a diplomatic affront in late July to French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, visiting Brasilia, canceling their meeting.
He had posted on Facebook a live in which he was seen having his hair cut at the scheduled time of the meeting, which had been canceled "for questions of agenda".
Le Drian, who had apparently been wrong to meet Brazilian NGOs often hostile to Jair Bolsonaro, had ironized about this "hair emergency".
In recent days, about the Amazon, Jair Bolsonaro has accused Macron of having a "colonialist mentality" while accusing him of having "lied" on his climate commitments.
© 2019 AFP