PARIS (AP) -- A defiant Emmanuel Macron has told laid-off employees at a troubled French appliance factory in his home town that it wasn't his government's fault that a takeover there failed.
In a blunt moment that's already been seized upon by media, the French president said Friday the failure of the takeover at the Whirlpool plant in Amiens — a blue-collar battleground with 2017 election rival Marine Le Pen — was "not the state's fault."
At the time, Macron told workers to trust the company that took over the factory, but it later went bust. A second takeover then left more than 100 workers unemployed.
Macron stressed that the government is not responsible for firing workers.
Macron has been trying to stymie the far right's appeal to blue collar workers ahead of 2020's municipal elections and the 2022 presidential vote.