Emmanuel Macron calls for 'Europe of defence' at show of force on Bastille Day

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Those who attended the parade and a lunch at the Elysée Palace included Charles Michels, the Belgian prime minister  and president-elect of the European Council, Jens Stoltenberg, secretary-general of Nato, Jean-Pierre Juncker, the outgoing president of the European Commission and Anti Rinne, prime minister of Finland.

Mr Macron stood in an open-top command car as he inspected the forces and waved to crowds of spectators.

There was no rain despite overcast skies but the president was jeered by “yellow vest” protesters whose weekly, often violent demonstrations appeared on the verge of toppling his government during the winter. 

The protests have since dwindled and Mr Macron’s approval ratings have risen, but he is now facing renewed accusations of elitism and cronyism following revelations of his environment minister’s extravagant lifestyle, funded by French taxpayers. 



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