Pierre de Villiers, the head of France’s armed forces, resigned Wednesday after a public dispute with President Emmanuel Macron.
De Villiers said he could no longer carry out his duties amid budget cuts under the new administration.
“In the current circumstances 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,” de Villiers said, according to France24.
The resignation follows weeks of open criticism over Macron’s leadership and decision to cut the 2017 budget by 850 million euro ($969 million).
“I won’t let myself be f***ed like that,” de Villiers reportedly said during a closed parliamentary hearing, according to Reuters. “I may be stupid, but I know when I am being had.”
Macron pledged to increase defense spending starting in 2018 during his first defense policy speech Thursday. (RELATED: Macron Pledges Increase In France’s Defense Spending While Hosting Trump)
The president used his address to let the armed forces know he would no longer tolerate public criticism.
“For me it’s undignified to wash dirty linen in public,” Macron told the army. “I have made commitments, I am your boss.”
France’s defense spending will increase by 1.5 billion euros ($1.72 billion) next year — from 32.7 billion euros ($37.5 billion) in 2017, to 34.2 billion euros ($39.2 billion) in 2018, according to Macron.
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