France to boost defence budget by €1.6 billion

France will boost defence spending next year by €1.6 billion, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Thursday, just two months after a row over planned cuts to the budget triggered the resignation of the armed forces chief.

France to boost defence budget by €1.6 billion
Macron meets with troops during a visit to a French air force base. AFP.
Philippe said it was the biggest increase in six years.
“This will be continued in 2019 and 2020 because the world we are living in is dangerous,” he told BFM television.
President Emmanuel Macron was plunged into a dispute in July, just two months into his presidency, when then army chief General Pierre de Villiers protested at government plans to slash 850 million euros ($1 billion) from this year's defence budget.
Macron with then army chief General Pierre de Villiers on July 14th. AFP
Macron publicly rebuked de Villiers, who then quit, and the president sought to reassure the troops of his backing despite the cuts.
France's military is engaged in operations against jihadists in Syria, Iraq and west Africa while also defending against terror attacks on home soil.


Macron to make live TV broadcast to France

French president Emmanuel Macron will make a live TV broadcast to the nation about the war in Ukraine.

Macron to make live TV broadcast to France

Macron will be on TV on Wednesday at 8pm, the Elysée confirmed earlier on Wednesday.

Macron also tweeted the announcement, saying that his speech will be on the subject of the war in Ukraine.

His office added that the president’s speech “will not touch on other matters” – Macron has only until Friday to confirm whether or not he is running for re-election.

It is widely considered to be extremely unlikely that he would not stand in the April elections, but all candidates have until Friday, March 4th, to make their declaration.

Macron’s team had previously announced a rally in Marseille on Saturday, March 5th, which was expected to be the first official campaign event, but on Tuesday this was cancelled because of the ongoing international crisis.

Macron was at the forefront of international efforts to find a diplomatic resolution to the crisis, and since Russia invaded Ukraine he has remained in close contact with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, and has also spoken – at the request of Zelensky – to Russian premier Vladimir Putin.

The Local will be following Macron’s speech live from 8pm HERE.