Jean-Michel Macron’s relationship with his son is understood to have become strained in recent years with the 70-year-old apparently dismayed by the French President’s portrayal of his maternal grandma Germaine Noguès as the central figure in his childhood.
He said he was annoyed by the “hold” his mother-in-law has on his son and often urged the “woman of character” to “let Emmanuel breathe”.
Mr Macron Snr, a doctor from the northern French town of Amiens, told Le Monde his son was “a self-serving politician not excessively endowed with sincerity or generosity”.
He said he detested the “narcissism” of the current era and added: “Emmanuel is a great actor, a seducer. That is useful in politics.
“Emmanuel is capable of drawing from everyone who might be of service to him.”
He said he was appalled by his son’s habit of allowing glossy magazines to photograph him and to report on his private life, but added: “That’s Emmanuel’s problem.”
He revealed there were tensions over his son’s initial relationship with his wife Brigitte, who is 24 years older than the 43-year-old president.
He said it “seemed premature to me, given his age” and hoped over time his son would “move on”.
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The French president’s friend Marc Ferracci, an economist who was best man at his wedding, said Mr Macron’s father was happy when he swept to power in 2017 “in the manner of Napoléon Bonaparte”.
But he acknowledged: “The bonds seem to have weakened.”
The extraordinary comments came as Mr Macron’s popularity showed signs of improving across France despite the country’s economy shrinking by 9.5 per cent this year and the country registering 64,381 covid-related deaths.
The president has pledged that everyone in France should be able to get a covid-19 vaccine if they want it, amid criticism over the slowness of the vaccination program.
In a televised New Year’s Eve address to the nation he said: “The hope is there, in the vaccine that the human genius has made possible in one year only.
“I will not let an unjustified slowness take hold.
“Every French person who wishes it should be able to get vaccinated.”