President Emmanuel Macron is preparing to give the first television interview of his second five-year term on Thursday on the occasion of the July 14 national holiday, after attending the traditional military parade on the Champs-Élysées, in a strategic context marked by the return of war in Europe.
The Head of State will be at 1:10 p.m. on the France 2 and TF1 channels to “set the course, the broad lines of the policies that must be conducted”, in a complex domestic political context after the setback of his coalition in the June legislative elections which deprived him of an absolute majority in the National Assembly.
He should discuss the domestic political situation, the government's agenda and the measures to be taken to mitigate the economic and social consequences of the war in Ukraine, which is weighing on growth and fueling soaring energy and food prices.
Thursday morning, Emmanuel Macron reviewed the troops aboard a military vehicle, under a radiant sun, before attending from the stand installed on the square de la Concorde at the parade of the French armed forces, opened by the Patrouille de France and its famous blue-white-red ribbon.
In total, some 6,300 people marched this year, including nearly 5,000 on foot, in front of a compact crowd all along the procession. The show mobilized 64 planes, a drone, 25 helicopters, 200 horses and 181 motorized vehicles.
The parade ended in music with a song specially composed for the occasion, entitled “France”, performed by Candice Parise.
The parade on foot opened with the flags of 9 invited foreign countries, mostly neighbors of Russia or from Ukraine: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria.
French troops recently deployed on the eastern flank of Europe have followed suit.
Paris has significantly reinforced its reassurance missions there since then. the start of the war. Some 500 French soldiers were urgently dispatched to Romania at the end of February within the framework of NATO and Paris is ready to increase its contingent if necessary.
France is also participating in land and air reassurance missions in Estonia and its Rafale fighter jets are helping to protect Polish skies.
Given the war in Ukraine, but also inflation, the President Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday evening a new military programming law (LPM) 2024-2030 to “adjust the means to the threats”, while France, according to him, has entered a “war economy”.
In 2017, the Head of State began a sharp rise in defense credits after years of scarcity. The budget of the Armed Forces will grow further in 2022 before crossing a march of 3 billion in 2023, to reach 44 billion euros.
But the high-intensity conflict in Ukraine has highlighted the shortcomings of the French defense apparatus, particularly in terms of ammunition.
Today it is a question of “reconstituting certain stocks more quickly and more powerfully, knowing how to produce more equipment adapted to this war of high intensity on our soil, to make choices of innovation”, argued the Head of State on Wednesday.
Despite the deterioration of public finances under the impact of the health crisis, the Élysée hopes to bring together the opposition around the subject of defence, which benefits from a relative consensus within the political class.
The issue also affects France's weight in Europe and on the international scene, at a time when most EU countries are rearming, starting with Germany, which released a special fund of 100 billion euros for its defense.
The 2022 edition of the parade was an opportunity to show the new equipment of the French armies, such as the Jaguar reconnaissance armored vehicle, alongside the new generation Griffon armored vehicle which is gradually replacing the armored forward vehicle (VAB) in the land forces.
The air parade, in which several European aircraft participated, including Greek Rafales, included for the first time the Reaper drone, used in the Sahel to track down and kill jihadists, while France is full recalibration of its military presence on the African continent.
Some 125,000 police forces have been mobilized throughout France to ensure the smooth running of the national holiday. “Yellow vests” have announced their intention to demonstrate in the capital in the afternoon.
Fireworks will then light up in the evening the sky of France, hit by a strong heat wave, with a large part of the territory threatened by fires.