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Macron in Denmark as France's government in disarray

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Queen Margaret II of Denmark with French President Emmanuel Macron on his state visit on August 28th Keld Navntoft/Ritzau Scanpix/via REUTERS

On the second day of President Macron's Nordic visit, he announced that a future Tour de France bicycle race would start from Copenhagen. While Macron is welcomed with open arms in Denmark, his government in France starts the post-summer political season in turmoil.


On the second day of his three-day tour of Denmark and Finland, French president Emmanuel Macron announced that a future edition of the Tour de France bicycle race would start from Copenhagen.

Along with Danish Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen, Macron went on a bicycle tour of the Danish capital.

Superstar in Denmark, criticised in France

Europe1 reports that President Macron was received like a superstar in Denmark. 

This is France's first official visit to Denmark after over three decades. A gala lobster dinner was held for the occasion, transmitted live on Danish TV.

Denmark's Queen Margrethe II, who is married to a French prince, spoke in French to hail Franco-Danish relations.

French Culture Minister Françoise Nyssen Bertrand GUAY / AFP

Trouble on home soil

While President Macron was being warmly welcomed in Denmark, state affairs in France were less rosy.

Investigation continued on France's Culture Minister Françoise Nyssen for illegal construction work at her previous workplace. The offices of French publishing house Actes Sud, which Nyssen directed before becoming Minister of Culture, were raided by the police. Nyssen, who is in Denmark with President Macron, said that the raids were "logical".

This follows the sensational resignation of French Environment minister Nicolas Hulot on Tuesday. Hulot was Macron's most popular cabinet minister, and his resignation gave way to open criticism form all oppostion parties.

Le Premier ministre hongrois Viktor Orbán et l'actuel homme fort de l'Italie, le ministre de l'Intérieur Matteo Salvini, le 28 août 2018 à Milan. REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

European duel: Macron vs Orban/Salvini

Macron's main reason for his Denmark and Finland trip is to rally support for his vision of Europe.

A clear dichotomy seems to be emerging on the European political scene, and much of it is due to massive migrant arrivals.

One one hand, Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban and Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini have declared Macron to be their main opponent.

Macron counter-attacked, saying they were right to see him as an opponent, that he would always combat nationalism in Europe

But to do this, Macron needs all the support he can get, and is trying to woo over Denmark and Finland to his side.

This may not be an easy task, for both Denmark and Finland have voted against a key economic reform that Macron wants for Europe.

Macron finishes his Nordic tour with a state visit to Finland on Thursday.