Two months into the job, Francois Hollande has presided over the annual Bastille Day military parade in Paris.
His partner, Valerie Trierweiler, had a front row seat to watch the festivities. She recently sparked a family feud, after posting a tweet online during legislative elections, in support of the political opponent of Hollande’s ex-partner Segolene Royal.
Putting his private life to one side, Hollande described the celebrations in the French capital as marking a day of “national unity,” a day, he said, that was about the values of France.
The theme of this year’s parade was serving the nation and world peace.
Away from the pomp of the day, Hollande is at the helm of a country facing tough economic challenges. France is struggling to return to growth, as many of its European neighbours slip into recession.
Hollande said on Saturday that his government was considering raising the CSG social welfare charge as part of measures to cut the country’s deficit.
France, which announced 7.2 billion euros in new taxes last week to plug a budget shortfall for this year, needs a further 33 billion euros in 2013 to meet its European deficit targets or risk unnerving financial markets.