Emmanuel Macron has got balls (and he doesn’t care if they get touched)

EuroActiv Politico News

Welcome to Declassified, a weekly humor column.

Do not, repeat do not, mess with Emmanuel Macron’s balls. Actually, scratch that, do mess with his balls because he does not care.

The French president has had (another) difficult week, coming under pressure to explain his past support for Uber’s lobbying efforts in France, after revelations of privileged exchanges with the American ride-hailing company while he was economy minister in 2015.

Responding to the revelations, the Elysée said in a bland statement that Macron’s role “naturally led him to meet and interact with many companies engaged in the sharp shift which came out during those years in the service sector.” But speaking to reporters during a visit to a factory in the French Alps, Macron used much stronger language, saying he would repeat his actions “again, tomorrow and the day after” — which sounds like the name of a Bond film (more on that later). Macron also used the phrase “Ça m’en touche une sans faire bouger l’autre.”

Literal translation: “It [the criticism] touches one of them [his balls] without nudging the other [ball].”

Actual translation: “I don’t give a shit what you say about me.”

As with so many Macronisms, the phrase was borrowed from someone else, in this case Jacques Chirac, a man not afraid to, er, put his balls on display.

You know who else is not short in the balls department? James Bond. And it seems as if the producers of the Bond films can call off the search for a replacement for Daniel Craig. Who has been chosen? Is it Regé-Jean Page? Nope. Idris Elba? Oh no. Lashana Lynch? Wrong again. It’s Charles Michel who already has the turtleneck and may now get a super-secure bunker in the Council HQ from which to conduct cool spy business (or go for a nap).

Yes, the EU plans to spend €8 million on an insulation cage that can hold up to 100 people to “mitigate the risk of exploitation of compromising emanations,” according to an EU memo describing the project and seen by EUobserver. Also, wasn’t “Compromising Emanations” the name of a Bond girl?

The new facility will also reportedly provide a “suitable level of comfort for VIPs.” But what is a suitable level of comfort, and do all VIPs have the same need for comfort? Think of the former VIPs who have spent a lot of time in the Council: Angela Merkel would have likely been happy with a bowl of her favorite potato soup and a chair, while Silvio Berlusconi would have required … well, other things.


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Paul Dallison is POLITICO‘s slot news editor.