'Not the white saviour he thinks he is': Macron mistakes Algerian insults for cheers during Oran's visit

'Not the white saviour he thinks he is': Macron mistakes Algerian insults for cheers during Oran's visit
2 min read
29 August, 2022
Many Algerian users mocked Macron's "delusional" and "out of touch" "white-saviour behaviour". 
"France is desperate for Algeria’s oil but not desperate enough to drop its neo-colonial arrogance," tweeted a user. [Getty]

France's President Emmanuel Macron mistook Algerians' jeers for cheers during his visit to Oran last week, according to a newly published video.

Over the weekend, hundreds of angry Algerians surrounded the car of President Macron in Oran, shouting curse words at the French President. Ignorant of the language, Macron mistook the anger for cheers and insisted on getting closer to the crowd. 

After failing in protruding the security, who rushed him to the car, Macron cheered "Merci" in a hand gesture expressing gratitude.

The video of Macron thanking the crowd cursing him spread quickly all over social media, triggering further criticism and sarcasm against the French politician.

Many Algerian users have mocked Macron's "delusional" and "out of touch" "white-saviour behaviour". 

"France is desperate for Algeria's oil but not desperate enough to drop its neo-colonial arrogance," tweeted a user.

Last Thursday, the French president arrived in Algeria hoping to fix the strains in the relationship between both countries that his statements caused last year.

In October 2021, Algeria recalled its ambassador in Paris after leaked statements of Macron were heard with him dismissing Algeria's history of resistance and criticising the current regime ruling the country.

With no apologies issued yet, the Elysée had said they regretted the misunderstandings.

Macron's visit also comes as European powers scramble to replace Russian energy imports - including with supplies from Algeria, Africa's top gas exporter, which in turn is seeking a greater regional role.

Macron had also proclaimed a "new page" in relations, after meeting Algerian President Tebboune and announcing the creation of a joint commission of historians to examine the colonial period and the devastating eight-year war that ended it.

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In 2017, President Emmanuel Macron, still a candidate at the time, broke for the first time the long-standing political silence on the bloodiest period in the recent history of France, as he acknowledged "the crimes against humanity" French colonisation committed in Algeria.

However, during his years in the office, his policy regarding the crimes committed in Algeria continued to be a policy of "Quand meme" (even so) with no real measures.

Algiers' relationship with Paris is scarred by the trauma of a bloody 132-year-long occupation, and eight-year-long guerilla.

Approximately 1.5 million Algerians were killed and millions more displaced in an eight-year struggle for independence that ended in 1962.