Published: Wed, November 07, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Emmanuel Macron praises general who became leader of Vichy France

Emmanuel Macron praises general who became leader of Vichy France

Mr Macron, who has pushed for a joint European Union military force since his election past year, issued the call while on a tour of northern France in the run-up to the centenary of the end of the First World War. "In the Face of Russian Federation, which is at our borders, and who has shown she could be threatening (...) we must have a Europe that defends itself more alone, without depending on only the States of the united States and most sovereign", argues the head of State, in this interview, recorded on Monday evening. President Macron is concerned Europe is not in a position to defend itself in a sovereign matter, without the aid of the United States.

In recent months Macron has framed elections to the European Parliament next May as a battle between anti-immigrant nationalists and pro-EU "progressives".

"This anger is directed at an ultra-liberal Europe which no longer allows our middle classes to live decently", he said, using a term associated in France with an excessively free-market ideology.

Macron's plan to honor Petain alongside seven other French marshals who directed military campaigns during World War One, which ended 100 years ago on November 11, has unleashed criticism from Jewish groups, political opponents and on social media.

French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that Europeans can not be protected without a "true, European army", as he marks the centenary of the World War One Armistice.

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In an apparent reference to Russia, Macron warned that "intrusion attempts in cyber-space and multiple interventions in our democracies" required a united response.

"It was empires that were at the origin of World War I, not nations".

For years French leaders have treaded lightly when dealing with Petain's tortuous legacy, which his critics say left an indelible stain on the country.

President Emmanuel Macron faced a wave of criticism on Wednesday (Nov 7) after defending Nazi collaborator Philippe Petain, who led France's authoritarian Vichy regime, as a "great soldier" during World War I.

The far right is on the rise in France, with the National Rally party - formerly National Front - now polling two per cent higher than Macron.

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