Fact Check: This Tweet Is FAKE -- French President Macron Did NOT Say Europe Needs To Be Prepared To Take Up To 60 Million Refugees

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: This Tweet Is FAKE -- French President Macron Did NOT Say Europe Needs To Be Prepared To Take Up To 60 Million Refugees Spoof News

Did French President Emmanuel Macron make a campaign promise that "Europe must be ready to accept up to 60 million refugees over the next 20 years from Africa and the Middle East"? No, that's not true: This is a fake tweet that is designed to look like a BBC News report from April 11, 2022. The BBC has confirmed this is not an authentic BBC article, and there is no record of Macron saying something to this effect.

The fake tweet was posted on Facebook (archived here) on April 18, 2022. The post was captioned:

French President Macron makes this campaign promise: 'Europe must be ready to accept up to 60 million refugees over the next 20 years from Africa and the Middle East, as sanctions against Russia will lead to an economic collapse in Africa, which, in turn, imports a huge amount of Russian wheat.'

The text on the fabricated tweet that spoofed BBC News reads:

BBC News (World)
@BBCWorld
France's President Macron tells re-election audience, 'Europe needs to be prepared to take up to 60 million refugees, over the next 20 years, from Africa and the Middle East,' as he warns that sanctions on Russia are leading to economic collapse in Africa, which imports vast amounts of Russian wheat.

This is how the post looked on Facebook on April 22, 2022:

macronpost.jpg

(Image source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Apr 22 20:09:58 2022 UTC)

Lead Stories reached out to the BBC Press office to ask if there was any truth to this tweet. They replied by email on April 22, 2022:

This isn't a BBC article and we encourage audiences to visit the BBC News website if they're unsure if a story is real.

A web search for the purported Macron quote did not return any reputable news reporting that Macron had said this. Search results showed several fact checks debunking the spoof and several sites that were amplifying the fake tweet, such as a messageboard of this QAnon site greatawakening.win (archived here) and a Twitter account.

The Getty Images photo in the fake tweet did appear in a real BBC article on April 11, 2022, titled "French elections: Macron targets Le Pen as run-off campaign begins." This is how that article appeared in a real BBC World tweet:

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