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French President Emmanuel Macron has been criticised after removing his expensive watch during a television interview about pension changes.

Violent protests and strikes are taking place across France after Mr Macron pushed through a law raising the retirement age by two years to 64 without a vote in parliament.

The clip of Mr Macron taking off his watch during the interview, which was broadcast on French news channels, has gone viral with political opponents suggesting it shows he is out of touch.

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In the clip, the French leader uses his hands to express himself while talking before he puts them both under the table.

When he brings his hands back on to the table the watch is missing.

The French leader’s representatives have reportedly claimed he took the watch off because it was “clinking on the table”.

Clemence Guette, an MP for the opposition left-wing La France Insoumise party, tweeted that while Mr Macron was claiming minimum wage earners had unprecedented purchasing power, “the final image” was him “removing his pretty luxury watch”.

Farida Amrani, also an MP for La France Insoumise, said: “The president of the rich has never worn his name so well.”

Social media users had claimed the watch was worth up to €80,000 (£70,500) but the Elysee Palace has told French media this is incorrect.

Read more:
Macron is either brave or foolhardy – analysis

The palace said Mr Macron was wearing a Bell and Ross BR V1-92.

One of the watches is on sale on Bell and Ross’s website for $2,600 (£2,100).

The palace said in a statement: “He has been wearing it very regularly for more than a year and a half.”

Mr Macron’s political opponents and critics have long-accused him of supporting the wealthy and even acting as a would-be monarch.

Meanwhile, the widespread unrest in France has caused King Charles’s first state visit to be postponed.

A joint decision was taken by the British and French governments after trade unions called for a further day of nationwide strikes and demonstrations during the planned visit by the King and Queen Consort.

The official trip will likely be rescheduled for the beginning of summer, Mr Macron said.

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