When President Macron was confronted by volunteers who waited for him after 35 minutes near the Breil-sur-Roya station (Alpes-Maritimes), where donations poured in for the victims of bad weather in the South-East, “I am never late,” he told them, according to Le Parisien, “because nothing can start without me.”
Although Mr Macron was said to have been partly joking, his quip underlines the monarchical nature of a presidency that often seems to ascribe to the philosophy of Louis XIV, the 17th-century king whose motto was said to have been: “L’état, c’est moi.”
“But we’ve seen worse! said an advisor afterwards. Even if, casually, President Macron will have so many delays on the official program that he will end the day, by removing the last stage planned at the Prefecture of Nice.
The French President who came to power in 2017 had told journalist then, “I will be the master of the clock and you will just have to get used to that.”
Macron’s systematic approach to handling time no longer surprises anyone. The self-proclaimed master of clocks never respects the schedules set by his work teams. To constantly run after time, whether on the move, during work meetings at the Elysee Palace, or for press conferences, and at sometimes to unreasonable proportions.
A relative of President Macron said, “the reputation is not new. It goes back before the Elysee. He’s a talker, a real pipette. He wants to convince each of his interlocutors so much that he does not count his time. Suddenly, it systematically extends all his appointments.”