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article imageBrazil rejects G7 money — accuses Macron of 'colonialism'

By Karen Graham     Aug 27, 2019 in Politics
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday that the country would turn down the money that was pledged at the G7 summit in France on Monday to help in fighting the Amazon rainforest fires.
The thousands of blazes in the Amazon rainforest have caused a public spat between Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been vocal about the need for an international response to the fires.
The public spat has intensified due to Bolsonaro allegedly making "extraordinarily rude" remarks about Macron's wife on Facebook, implying that Brigitte Macron was not as good-looking as his own wife, Michelle, according to The Guardian.
Bolsonaro was not happy that Macron had tweeted that the fires burning in the Amazon basin amounted to an international crisis and should be discussed as a top priority at the G7 summit. He accused Macron of having a “colonialist mentality."
Handout aerial picture released by Greenpeace showing smoke billowing from forest fires in the munic...
Handout aerial picture released by Greenpeace showing smoke billowing from forest fires in the municipality of Candeias do Jamari, close to Porto Velho in Rondonia State, in the Amazon basin in northwestern Brazil, on August 24, 2019
Victor MORIYAMA, GREENPEACE/AFP
Rejection of funds
The special communications office for the Brazilian president told CNN on Tuesday that the country would turn down the money that was pledged at the G7 summit in France on Monday. Bolsonaro's Chief of Staff, Onyx Lorenzoni, told the Globo news website: "Thanks, but maybe those resources are more relevant to reforest Europe."
"Macron cannot even avoid a predictable fire in a church that is part of the world's heritage, and he wants to give us lessons for our country?" Mr. Lorenzoni added, in a reference to the fire that hit Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris in April, reports The BBC.
Turning down the $22 million in G7 funds came after Macron had gone on French television Monday night reiterated that the Amazon was a global issue and intensified his criticism of Bolsonaro.
“We respect your sovereignty. It’s your country,” Macron said. But the trees in the Amazon are “the lungs of the planet," he added.
“The Amazon forest is a subject for the whole planet. We can help you reforest. We can find the means for your economic development that respects the natural balance. But we cannot allow you to destroy everything.”
More about Brazil, G7 money, Amazon rainforest, reforesting Europe, bolsonaro
 
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