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6 Sep, 2019 10:02

‘She is indeed ugly’: Brazil’s economy minister echoes Bolsonaro’s insults against Brigitte Macron

‘She is indeed ugly’: Brazil’s economy minister echoes Bolsonaro’s insults against Brigitte Macron

Brazil’s economy minister has tried to make a point about where media focus lies, as he echoed President Jair Bolsonaro’s insults about French First Lady Brigitte Macron, saying she is “indeed ugly.”

Paulo Guedes was complaining to businessmen in Fortaleza about media coverage of the Bolsonaro administration when he made the comments about French President Emmanuel Macron’s wife, which unsurprisingly is what the media has zeroed in on.

“What I see in the newspapers is that he insulted [UN high commissioner for human rights Michelle] Bachelet, or that he called Macron’s wife ugly,” he said. “He did say that and it’s true – the woman is indeed ugly.”

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After the audience laughed, Guedes added, “There’s no such thing as an ugly woman, there’s only women seen from the wrong angle.”

The economy minister later apologized for the “joke,” in a statement, saying he did not intend to offend and that he had wanted to “show that relevant and urgent issues for the country don’t receive the space they deserve in the public debate.” 

Guedes’ comments follow a war of words between Bolsonaro and Macron over the Amazon fires, and echo the sentiments expressed by the Brazilian leader on Facebook about Briggitte Macron’s appearance last month. Macron said at the time that his comments were “extraordinarily disrespectful” to his wife, and that the women of Brazil were “probably feeling ashamed of their president.”

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The French leader had previously threatened to scrap a trade deal between the European Union and South American customs union Mercosur if Brazil did not do more to protect the rainforest. Bolsonaro responded by accusing Macron acting as though Brazil “were a colony or no man’s land,” saying that respecting a country’s sovereignty was “the least that can be expected in a civilized world.”

Bosonaro also cancelled a meeting with France’s foreign minister at the last minute in July, choosing instead to have his hair cut on a Facebook Live broadcast. 

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