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‘Don’t call me Manu’: Macron corrects boy in crowd

President Emmanuel Macron has chided a collège-age student to “call me Mr President”, after the boy addressed the head of state as “Manu” during this year’s June 18 commemorations.

The President was shaking hands with people in the crowds who had gathered behind barriers in Mont Valérien (Hauts-de-Seine), as part of the 78th anniversary year of June 18 1940, when one young teenager called out “Ça va Manu?”, and was caught on camera.

Manu is the shortened nickname usually given to people named Emmanuel.

Yet, the President quickly replied, saying: “No, you can’t do that, no, no, no, no.”

He continued: “You are here, at an official ceremony, and you must behave properly. So you can behave like an idiot [the rest of the time], but today when we are playing [national anthem] La Marseillaise, the song of believers, you should call me ‘Mr President of the Republic’, or ‘Sir’. Okay? There we go.”

The young boy quickly replied: “Yes, Mr President.”

Macron - who was speaking warmly yet clearly - then added: “You should do things in the right order. The day when you want to lead a revolution, you should first have your secondary school diploma, and learn to feed yourself, okay? And only then will you be able to tell others what to do.”

In a longer version of the exchange, which was published on the official Twitter account of the Elysée Palace, the President and the student continued speaking, with the video description reading: “Respect should be the minimum level [expected] in the Republic...but this does not mean we cannot have a relaxed conversation.”

When the boy explained that he already had high enough grades to get his secondary school diploma even without taking any of the exams, the President urged him to not rest on his laurels.

He urged the boy to aim higher instead, by “pushing the bar”, “succeeding in his exams”, “making himself an example”, and preparing himself for “the future”.

June 18 is the anniversary in France of the significant “Appeal of June 18” speech given by then-leader of the Free French Forces, President Charles de Gaulle, in 1940.

It is often hailed as the beginning of the Resistance to the German occupation during the Second World War, and seen as one of the most important speeches in French history.

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