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.


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Comment by Napoleon Bonaparte on July 14, 2012 at 6:51pm

Hollande joins Bastille Day celebrations

Hollande joins Bastille Day celebrations in Paris by jupiter869

Francois Hollande has been marking Bastille Day for the first time as French president.

He took time to speak to some of those who had lined the streets of Paris for the traditional military parade, before giving a television interview in which he focused on the country’s economic challenges.

In the interview, Hollande said that car maker Peugeot must renegotiate a proposal to lay off 8000 workers. He said the government would not let it happen, adding that the company had made strategic decisions which were not the rights ones.

The president also commented on relations with Germany. Hollande said that he had looked for a compromise at each and every step in relation to the eurozone debt crisis. He said that France had reached an agreement over growth and support for Spain and Italy.

Hollande’s partner Valerie Trierweiler had a front row seat at Saturday’s military parade. She recently sparked a family feud by tweeting support for a political opponent of Hollande’s ex-partner in legislative elections.

The president said on Saturday that it would not happen again and stressed that private matters should be kept private.

Meanwhile, Hollande is not the only one who has been having a bumpy ride. A paratrooper taking part in the Bastille celebrations in Paris was slightly injured when his landing did not quite go to plan.

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