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FRANCE’S military parades for Bastille Day at the weekend were overshadowed by President Emmanuel Macron’s pledge to ramp up defence spending.
Mr Macron has signed a new military budget aimed at meeting Nato’s demand that member states spend 2 per cent of GDP on their armies.
His plan is to raise military spending by a third by 2025 — despite promising €60 billion of cuts to the public sector which will involve destroying 120,000 jobs.
He signed off the military budget on the eve of Bastille Day, mindful of last year’s embarrassment when army chief Pierre de Villiers quit over supposedly inadequate defence funding.
Details of cuts to other services will emerge “in coming weeks,” Mr Macron informed MPs summoned to listen to him at the Palace of Versailles last week in a session boycotted by some for its monarchical overtones.
Left Front leader Jean-Luc Melenchon said the National Assembly had been “convoked to admire the splendour of Macron the First.”
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