President Macron announced on Saturday that his trip to Germany has been canceled after pictures surfaced of Macron dancing at Elton John's farewell tour the day after civil unrest erupted across the country after Nahel M was shot and killed by Fench police during a traffic stop on Tuesday. Macron's visit would have been the first time a French president visited Germany in 23 years.
Thierry Mariani, an MEP with Marine Le Pen's National Rally, told The Telegraph that Macron's decision to attend the singer's concert while rioters torched buildings and looted businesses was "totally irresponsible."
"Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child," Mariani said as he quoted Ecclesiastes. "While France was on fire, Macron preferred to applaud Elton John."
David Furnish, Elton John's husband, posted an Instagram photo that featured Macron, a former Rothschild investment banker in Paris, and his wife Brigitte Marie-Claude Macron, smiling with the couple at the concert. The photo has since been deleted but was seen by enough people to spark significant outrage.
"France is burning, and the president of France is going to the Elton John concert. Macron is below everything," one wrote, according to The Telegraph.
Macron condemned the riots that followed the fatal French police shooting and said to ministers, "The last few hours have been marked by scenes of violence against police stations, but also schools and town halls – against institutions and the Republic."Critics slammed Macron for the slow deployment of law enforcement to quell the riots. The civil unrest began on Tuesday, and the French government later deployed an additional 45,000 police officers on Saturday to cities across the nation.
Shocking footage of the riots has been surfacing across social media with one video showing rioters chanting, "Allahu Akbar" as they torched vehicles and launched mortars at buildings.
France Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire provided details on Saturday about the damage to the country sustained so far during the riots, explaining that ten malls had been looted and over 200 supermarkets had been ransacked. Rioters have also looted banks, fashion stores, and fast-food outlets, in addition to setting businesses, vehicles, and residential buildings on fire across the country.
On Saturday morning, rioters drove a car into the home of L’Haÿ-les-Roses Mayor Vincent Jeanrun and set the house on fire in what is being investigated as attempted murder. His wife broke her leg and one of his two children was injured in the attack.
The interior minister said that 45,000 police will be deployed again on Sunday night in preparation for the sixth consecutive night of nationwide civil unrest.