The French president Emmanuel Macron inaugurated this Sunday the celebrations of the national holiday of France, when you get off the Champs Elysees of Paris aboard a command car before the start of the traditional military parade, in the presence of other European leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
When it passes Emmanuel Macron There were some whistles. The French head of state has been faced in recent months with a long social protest movement of "yellow jackets".
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This year, the traditional Paris parade focuses on European military cooperation, the workhorse of the French president.
Faced with the Brexit and the somewhat weakened transatlantic relations during Trump's era, Macron has made defense Europe one of his favorite themes, considering that it is crucial for the Old Continent to increase the its strategic autonomy, complementary to NATO.
"Never since the end of World War II had Europe been so necessary, the construction of a Europe of defense linked to the Atlantic Alliance, of which we celebrate 70 years, is a priority for the France" and "constitutes the red thread of this parade", explained the French president.
In addition to the German chancellor, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg participated in the parade among the eleven European guests. They will have lunch at Eliseo at the end of the traditional military parade.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, who left about ten days in office after presenting her resignation, was represented by Deputy Prime Minister David Lidington.
This is the third Macron parade since taking office in May 2017. The French president and his guests attend the march from a platform, on Place de la Concorde, at an end of the Champs-Elysees.
The nine countries that participate together France in the European Intervention Initiative (IEI), promoted by Macron to develop a "shared strategic culture" They are represented in the parade: Belgium, United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Holland, Estonia, Spain, Portugal and Finland. All have sent their Head of State, Government or Minister of Defense to Paris.
– Futuristic show –
The aerial parade includes a German A400M transport plane and a Spanish C130. Two British Chinook helicopters are also participating.
In total, some 4,300 soldiers, 196 vehicles, 237 horses, 69 planes and 39 helicopters are mobilized for this event.
Similarly, the national holiday also serves to highlight the innovation in defense, another priority of the French president.
At the opening of the show, on the Place de la Concorde, robots and drones were displayed using the armed forces, while the highlight of the event consisted of a futuristic demonstration of Flyboard Air, a platform that allows planning with five turbojets, invented by the Frenchman Franky Zapata, who piloted his device several tens of meters from the ground.
The parade will close with a group of wounded soldiers from the French army, currently involved in multiple foreign operations, from the Middle East to the Sahel.
In addition, some of the new materials provided by a law intended to increase the budget for armies are presented, such as the Griffon armored vehicle, successor to the emblematic VAB, of which the land army received several copies.
(tagsToTranslate) Emmanuel Macron (t) France