Bolsonaro boycats Bic pens, a French brand


Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who is fighting with France over fires in the Amazon, said Friday that he would stop using Bic pens, a "French" brand.

Until now, he signed the official documents with these cheap pens, which he often waved in front of the cameras as a symbol of the modesty of his presidential lifestyle, unlike that of his predecessors.

Compactor "will do the trick"

"A pen (from the Brazilian brand) Compactor, instead of Bic, will do the trick," he told reporters in Brasilia. The day before, he had declared on Facebook "now it will be Compactor, because Bic is French".

Some 95% of the pens sold in Brazil by Bic are manufactured in Manaus, in the state of Amazonas, one of the nine states to house the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, said a press officer of the firm.

The group employs a thousand people in its factories in Manaus and Rio de Janeiro.

Bic did not want to comment on Jair Bolsonaro's statements, but the label said it was "flattered" to be recognized as "a democratic brand".

The serious fires in the Amazon have given rise since last week to very tense exchanges between Brazil and France.

For the third consecutive day on Friday, Bolsonaro demanded that French President Emmanuel Macron retract after he declared open the question of sovereignty over the Amazon, 60% of which is in Brazilian territory.

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