>> An early test for newly elected French president Emanuel Macron. His Armed Forces chief has quit days after a heated dispute over defense budget cuts. Pierre de Villiers said on Wednesday, quote, I see myself as no longer able to guarantee the robust defense force I believe is necessary to guarantee the protection of France and the French people today and tomorrow and to sustain the aims of our country.
He exchanged fiery words with the president behind closed doors last week. When he fought against Macron slashing of 850 million euros from the defense coffers in an effort to rein in state spending. The following day, the pair were seen side-by-side at Bastille Day celebrations in Paris. Where they showed no signs off the fierce exchange.
According to sources, de Villier had used strong language when he appeared before parliamentarians adding, I maybe stupid but I know when I'm being had. But following the meeting, the president said his defense chief had no choice but to agree with what he says. Macron warned an audience a dozens of top army officers quote, I have made commitments, I am your boss.
As of Wednesday, that's something that no longer applies to de Villier.