Macron enacts public ethics law with a whiff of U.S.-style razzmatazz

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 15, 2017 8:45 AM

PARIS (Reuters) - President Emmanuel Macron invited cameras into his Elysee Palace office on Friday as he signed into law new legislation, making him the first French president to wield his constitutional power in public view.

Social media users were quick to draw parallels between the images on Friday of Macron sat at his ornate desk to sign the documents and U.S. President Donald Trump's love for the media spotlight.

"Our Pdt Macron in a very "Trumpian" mood," wrote one Twitter user.

Another said: "Macron pretending to be Donald Trump. Who is that bad news for? Him or us?" said a second user mocking Macron's image-conscious style.

The president, who defeated the established parties to enter the Elysee, has already challenged French political conventions, donning a fighter pilot's suit at an air base and seeking a formal role for his wife as First Lady.

On Friday he was enacting legislation to tighten up ethical standards in French politics - one of his main election promises after a campaign race marred by financial scandal.

The law prohibits ministers, national lawmakers and locally elected officials from employing family members, prevents individuals with criminal records from seeking elected office, and refuses parliamentarians the right to hold advisory roles during their mandates.

Government spokesman Christophe Castaner said Macron wanted a ceremony befitting of a "historic moment in the relationship between the French and their political class".

(Reporting by Marine Pennetier; Writing by Richard Lough)