Published: Sun, July 14, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

France's Macron announces creation of a space force command

France's Macron announces creation of a space force command

Over 4,000 members of the armed forces thronged the start of the parade on the Champs Elysees by the Arc de Triomphe as they prepared for the ceremonial march to the Place de la Concorde where the dignitaries were to be seated.

"Never, since the end of World War II, has Europe been so important".

Addressing military personnel a day before the Bastille Day parade, Macron said the new military space command would strengthen protection of the country's satellites.

"This will eventually become the space and air force, and the necessary new investments will be decided", he added.

Mr Macron's European Intervention Initiative is a 10-country coalition of European militaries ready to react to crises and the French-led initiative, which includes Germany, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal, was launched past year.

French police fired tear gas at protesters during a tense standoff in central Paris on Sunday in the aftermath of the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees, AFP reporters said. "It is the theme of this parade", he said.

"Acting together and strengthening our ability to act collectively is one of the challenges that the European Intervention Initiative, along with other key European projects, wants to address".

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The jet-powered flying device was invented by French inventor Franky Zapata, who was given a €1.3 million grant by France's army for its military development.

However, the Yellow Vest demonstrators, who have been protesting declining living standards in France for eight months now, were also among the spectators.

Merkel told reporters after the event that the parade was a "great gesture for a European defence policy" and Germany was "honoured" to have taken part.

The annual parade commemorates the July 14, 1789, storming of the Bastille fortress in Paris during the French Revolution.

France has had a Bastille Day parade since 1880, and it's customary for a foreign leader to be the guest of honor.

In Paris, the focus this year was the European Defense Initiative, a coalition formed last year to prepare for possible military action outside of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. The French-led initiative, which includes Germany, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal, was launched previous year.

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