French politics

An (almost) ordinary Bastille Day

François Hollande, French president, during the Bastille (French National) Day military parade, the 14th of July, in Paris (Champs-Elysées)

On the last Saturday, the French National Day traditional military parade took place in Paris with a cloudy and grey weather in the presence of François Hollande, Jean-Marc Ayrault and whole his government and Martin Schulz, Chairman of the European Parliament.

A parade led by François Hollande as commander in chief for the first time and which was sober and come back in the tradition. For instance, the French Head of State kept to the protocol and his function even if he enjoyed meeting a paratrooper seriously injured after his landing in front of the presidential stand during a show.

At this occasion, the traditional 14th of July interview was reintroduced after his removal by Nicolas Sarkozy five years ago. During three-quarter an hour, the French Head of State came back on the announcement of the Aulnay Peugeot-Citroen factory closedown but also on his social and economic policy in which he wants to maintain the objectives he targeted. He also dealt with the tweet sent by his companion Valérie Treirweiler during the legislative campaign and on the controversy which followed and re-launched by Thomas Hollande, his elder son, considering this is a private story as all the declarations linked to this.

More two months after his victory and his investiture, François Hollande wants to keep in touch with French, tackling to sarkozysm in the same time. Thus, he wants to appear as a simple man, in touch with his compatriots in order to say he is close to their concerns in spite of his international calibre.

The task seems to be complicated but essential in a troubled international and economic context in which a lot of French people hope the change promised by the current president. This one is clearly aware of this, appearing as comprehensive, attentive, and pedagogic to explain and defend his current policy. This attitude was broadly approved by Martine Aubry, the French Socialist Party leader who notices “another way to do politics” in the Hollande’s speech.

Nonetheless and despites his voluntarism, the French president of the Republic knows he has to give results very soon because of the current internal economic situation. François Hollande as Jean-Marc Ayrault, the head of Government, will have to give answers and maintain the objective drawn during the elections as possible it may be. This challenge is harsh and hazardous although François Hollande declares to be aware of the expected difficulties which suppose to make painful decisions which are going to provoke stir and contestations and the François Hollande’s attitude as “Président normal” (ordinary president) won’t be sufficient to calm down the spirits.

Nonetheless, the first French National Day of François Hollande as president of the French Republic was finally a success enough. The French leader wanted to insist on sobriety and revive the tradition both, playing with his ordinary president’s image, close to the French people. And to be different from his predecessor, he opened the garden of the Elysée Palace to onlookers in the afternoon.

To sum up, it was an (almost) ordinary French National Day!