A senior Brazilian official has told Mr. Emmanuel Macron, the French President, to take care of “'is home and his colonies' as Brazil rejected an offer from G7 countries of 20m dollars to help fight fires in the Amazon. 'We appreciate [the offer], but maybe those resources are more relevant to reforest Europe,' Mr. Onyx Lorenzoni, the chief of staff to President Jair Bolsonaro, told the G1 news website. Leaders of the G7 countries made the aid offer at a weekend summit in the French city of Biarritz hosted by the French president, who had put the fires high on the agenda. Environmental campaigners have dismissed the sum as 'chump change’. 'Macron cannot even avoid a foreseeable fire in a church that is a world heritage site,' Mr.Lorenzoni said in a reference to the blaze that devastated the Notre Dame cathedral in April. 'What does he intend to teach our country?
'Brazil is a democratic, free nation that never had colonialist and imperialist practices, as perhaps is the objective of the Frenchman Macron.” The Brazilian presidency later confirmed the comments. Brazil’s environment minister, Mr. Ricardo Salles, had earlier told reporters that his country welcomed the G7 funding, but after a meeting between Mr. Bolsonaro and his ministers, the Brazilian government changed course. The diplomatic row had escalated earlier in the day, when Mr. Macron condemned Mr. Bolsonaro for what he called 'extraordinarily rude' comments made about his wife, Brigitte, after the Brazilian president expressed approval online for a Facebook post implying that Brigitte Macronwas not as good-looking as his wife, Michelle.
'He has made some extraordinarily rude comments about my wife,' Mr. Macron said when asked to react to statements about him by the Brazilian government. 'What can I say? It’s sad. It’s sad for him firstly, and for Brazilians,' he added. Mr. Macron said he hoped for the sake of the Brazilian people 'that they will very soon have a president who behaves in the right way'. The US president, Mr. Donald Trump, skipped the summit session on global heating through tree planting and shifting from fossil fuels to wind energy. In a press conference after the summit, he was dismissive of efforts to change direction. 'I feel the US has tremendous wealth … I’m not going to lose that wealth on dreams, on windmills – which, frankly, aren’t working too well,' he said. 'I think I know more about the environment than most.'