Hollande faces TV grilling after WWI-tinged military parade
Paris: French President Francois Hollande began reviewing a national day military parade Monday attended by soldiers from dozens of nations once involved in World War I, hours before a major televised interview.
As the world commemorates the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War this year, the traditional annual Bastille Day parade saw delegations from countries as varied as Senegal, Britain and Japan march in Paris.
"This July 14th is not a July 14th like others," Hollande said on the eve of the parade, pointing out that 100 years ago, "soldiers from around the world" came "to save us."
Transport and fighter planes flew before the start of a ground parade on the Champs Elysees avenue composed of nearly 4,000 forces, 285 vehicles and more than 240 horses, as thousands of onlookers cheered.
But at a time when the country`s economy is still faltering more than two years after Hollande took power, all eyes will be on the president`s 1115 GMT televised interview -- an annual tradition on France`s national day and his first media outing in over two months.
Record unemployment, a reform programme that has attracted the ire of lawmakers within his own Socialist party, a prime minister unpopular with influential unions, a series of high-profile strikes -- Hollande will be faced with tough questions in the interview that is also expected to touch on crises in Ukraine and Syria, as well as the current Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip.
The interview comes a day after France announced it was officially ending its military offensive in Mali that rid the north of the country from the grip of Islamists, replacing it with an operation spanning the wider Sahel region to combat extremist violence.
On the domestic front, Hollande is expected to address criticism over a controversial reform plan aimed at boosting jobs and companies` competitiveness, that has stirred up major discontent among the left of the Socialist party.
He will also likely talk about a series of strikes by workers in the railway sector, entertainment industry and other areas, after the government took the hard line and refused to give in to their demands.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Zee Media exclusive chat with 'Welcome to Karachi' cast
- Reservation issue: Police register case against Bainsla, 20 others
- Zee Media exclusive interview with Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar
- UP Minister allegedly threatens, abuses Gonda businessman
- Manali: Heavy corruption found in environmental taxes
- UP: Jammu-bound Muri Express derails in Kaushambi
- Five unmanned parachute-like objects spotted over Mumbai airport
- Aapke Sitare: Astro prediction for May 24, 2015
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- Dawood's intercepted phone calls prove yet again he is in Pakistan
- CBSE Board Class 12th Exam Results 2015 declared
- Jaipur girl Mini Rajpal wins Miss India Deaf 2015!
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man?
- Mumbai architecture creates double decker bus from scrap!
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man? Part-2
- IPL 2015 Final: MI vs CSK - As it happened...
- Heatwave continues in North India; death toll in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana more than 400
- IPL 2015 final: Mumbai Indians thrash Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs to lift second title
- Heatwave claims over 550 lives so far, Delhi saw hottest day
- Check cbseresults.nic.in for CBSE Class 12 result 2015
- Mathura rally: PM Modi slams 'corrupt' UPA regime, lauds NDA govt's efforts in past one year
- CBSE Class 12 results out: Here's how you can check
- PM Narendra Modi's Mathura rally: As it happened
- Public rally on 100 days of AAP govt: As it happened
- CBSE Board 12th XII Results 2015: Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced today at 12 Noon