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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is vowing to stop using disposable pens made by the French company Bic amid an ongoing feud with French President Emmanuel Macron over how to confront the raging wildfires in the Amazon rainforest.
“A pen (of the Brazilian brand) Compactor and no more Bic, will work,” Bolsonaro said on Friday, adding that he would stop using Bic “because it is French,” according to Agence France Presse (AFP).
AFP noted that Brazil’s presidential office declined to comment when asked whether the remark was a joke. A Bic spokesperson told AFP that the majority of its pens sold in Brazil are manufactured in Manaus, a Brazilian city in the Amazon region. The spokesperson would not address Bolsonaro’s decision to boycott the brand.
The move from the Brazilian far-right leader comes as his administration faces international scrutiny over the surge in wildfires in the Amazon, which serves as a vital carbon store for the rest of the world. Brazil’s space research center, INPE, released data last month showing that the rate of fires had increased by about 85 percent compared to the previous year.
Macron called the events a “crisis” and led discussions surrounding the fires during the Group of 7 (G-7) summit in Biarritz, France. He also accused Bolsonaro of lying about his views of climate change.
Bolsonaro, meanwhile, has condemned Macron for addressing the rainforest fires without Brazil’s presence at the G-7, saying it represented a colonialist mindset. He’s also said that Brazil would not accept aid offered by the group until Macron apologizes.
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