22:07 GMT +318 November 2019
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    French president Emmanuel Macron addresses troops of the Barkhane force at the Barkhane tactical command center in N'Djamena on December 22, 2018

    Reasons Why No One Has Seen Macron Since Last Week REVEALED

    © AFP 2019 / Ludovic Marin
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    French media have been worrying about the absence of President Emmanuel Macron from the public spotlight. A news channel said that Macron's entourage recommended him to avoid increased attention in light of the Benalla affair and the Yellow Vests mayhem.

    According to Le Figaro, the latest official event on Macron's agenda was his two-day visit to Chad late last week, where he met with French soldiers deployed as part of Operation Barkhane, an anti-insurgent mission in the country.

    Last time the president appeared on TV was France 2's Tuesday broadcast, which was recorded on Saturday, during his visit to Africa.

    Emmanuel Macron has also been keeping a low profile on Twitter, with his latest post being a brief Christmas message.

    Elysee Palace officials told French news channel BFMTV that "the head of state wishes to spend a few days resting with his family".

    However, the channel reports that Macron has been staying under the radar on the advice of his entourage. A friend of Macron's was quoted as warning him against "mingling with the crowd", because it would "make people nervous".

    One of the pressing issues is said to be the affair of his scandal-ridden former aide Bennalla, who was sacked in August after beating a protester and made a luxurious trip to Chad a few days before Macron's trip.

    Another, and perhaps more significant trouble, is the anti-government Yellow Vests protests that swept across France in recent months. The movement, which began as a  protest against a hike in fuel prices, has morphed into nationwide anti-government demonstrations, condemning inequality in France as well as Macron's perceived elitist image.

    According to a survey carried out in early December, Emmanuel Macron's approval rating has sunk to a record-low of 23 percent, down from 34 percent in August.

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    Tags:
    yellow vests, absence, protests, Alexandre Benalla, Emmanuel Macron, Chad, France
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