Macron as a new candidate: the key moments of his five-year term

Elected in May 2017, with little political experience, the centrist politician quickly assumed his new role as president in meetings with other world leaders. He faced major crises at home and around the world. A look back at some key moments of his mandate.

VICTORY DAY AT THE LOUVRE

Moments after his victory in 2017, Macron, 39, slowly walked to the stage in the courtyard of the Louvre Museum in Paris, gradually appearing in the light to the sound of the European anthem “Ode to Joy” – a very symbolic moment before the crowd of supporters screamed.

The new French president sought to adopt the attitude expected of a statesman, a new world for a man who had long remained in the shadows.

HANDSHAKE CLASH WITH TRUMP

Macron later said the handshake was “a moment of truth” – designed to show he was no pushover.

FRANCO-AMERICAN FRIENDSHIP EFFORTS

Trump was invited to Paris as Macron’s guest of honor, with a seat on the podium as US troops opened the July 14 parade on the Champs-Élysées in July 2017.

Macron and Trump put aside their differences and enjoyed a gourmet meal with their wives at the Eiffel Tower, after a visit to one of Paris’ most famous sites, meetings and a joint press conference.

Trump enjoyed the military parade on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées so much that he said he wanted to hold a similar one in Washington.

ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTS

The yellow vest movement began in October 2018 among provincial workers camped out at roundabouts to protest against a hike in fuel taxes, sporting the high-visibility vests that all French drivers must keep in their cars in case of an emergency. . It quickly spread to people from all political, regional, social and generational backgrounds angry at economic injustice and the way Macron was running France.

At its height, a quarter of a million people marched through France.

For months, weekly protests across the country often escalated into scattered violence. The number of protesters gradually decreased during the spring of 2019.

D-DAY 75th ANNIVERSARY

On June 6, 2019, world leaders gathered in France to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion that helped liberate Europe from Nazi Germany.

Macron and Trump have praised the soldiers, sailors and airmen who took part in the invasion, dubbed Operation Overlord, saying it was the turning point that ended Nazi tyranny and ensured peace in Europe.

Macron expressed France’s debt to the United States for freeing his country from the Nazis.

OUR LADY ON FIRE

French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to rebuild Paris’ beloved Notre Dame cathedral “even more beautiful” after a massive fire destroyed its spire and roof in April 2019.

Authorities consider the fire an accident, possibly following restoration work on the nearly 900-year-old world architectural treasure.

Macron has promised the cathedral will be rebuilt by 2024, but officials acknowledge that the work will not be fully completed by then. The fire distributed large quantities of toxic lead on Notre-Dame and its surroundings, complicating the work.

WITH POUTINE ON THE CÔTE D’AZUR

Macron invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to his summer residence at Fort de Bregancon on the French Riviera in a rare honor meant to boost peace talks with Ukraine during the summer 2019.

The French president then envisaged long-term relations between Russia and the European Union based on measures of confidence and security, provided that the conflict with Ukraine is settled.

The strategy did not work. Two and a half years ago, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has jeopardized the security of the European continent — while tightening the unity of the West.

Macron visited Moscow last month, meeting Putin in the Kremlin to push for dialogue and avert war in Ukraine. In vain.

France currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, giving Macron a key role in coordinating the response from the bloc’s 27 nations.

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HITS FRANCE

Macron adopted a martial tone, declaring the country “at war”, to order the French to stay at home in what would become the country’s first strict lockdown to try to curb the spread of the virus in March 2020.

France was one of the most affected countries in Europe. The country has reported more than 138,000 deaths from the virus since the start of the pandemic.

Last year, the Macron government encouraged people to get vaccinated and introduced a “pass” that excluded unvaccinated people from restaurants, sports arenas and other places of recreation.

About 93% of French adults are fully vaccinated.

Michael J. Chiaramonte