European leaders join Macron for the Bastille Day parade | hailnewsup

European leaders join Macron for the Bastille Day parade

European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, joined French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday for the traditional Bastille Day military parade in Paris, which this year honored European military cooperation.

After touring the emblematic boulevard of the Champs-Elysees in a military vehicle escorted by motorcycles and a procession of cavalry, Macron joined leaders who also included Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa for the parade, which It started with a sample of technological innovations.

The attractions included unmanned aircraft, autonomous miniature vehicles, soldiers armed with anti-drone guns, and what appeared to be a "flying soldier," a man whistling in the air on a flyboard, drawing cheers from leaders and spectators

The Bastille Day commemorates the assault of the Bastille prison in 1789, one of the key events of the French Revolution. The day has become a national holiday in France.

Some 4,300 soldiers, some 200 vehicles and more than 100 aircraft, some from other European countries, participate in the parade that opened the Spanish troops.

In a message from Bastille Day to the French published before the parade, Macron said he wanted to highlight France's irrevocable commitment to consolidate French and European security.

"Never since the end of World War II has Europe been so necessary, building a Europe of defense, in relation to the Atlantic Alliance ... is a priority for France, it is the theme of this parade," said Macron.

"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," he added.

The European Intervention Initiative is a coalition of 10 European military countries ready to react to crises. The initiative led by the French, which includes Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal, was launched last year.

While the parade ended flawlessly, a French police source and a court source said some "yellow vests" protesters and their leaders were arrested near the Champs-Elysees while trying to organize a protest.

The authorities banned all protests in the area, but several protesters managed to enter the avenue and turned their back, booed and whistled while President Macron passed at the beginning of the parade.

The weekly demonstrations of yellow vests demonstrators, which are named after the high visibility jackets they wear and especially the cost of living, have been reduced to only a few hundred people in the last few weeks of approximately 300,000 in all the country in November.