France President Macron Inaugurated for Second 5-Year Term

PARIS — President Emmanuel Macron was inaugurated for a second term on Saturday, vowing to first take action to avoid any further escalation of Russia’s war in Ukraine before going on to focus on promoting France and Europe on the world stage.

On April 24, Macron won a runoff in which he beat Marine Le Pen, a far-right competitor. He was elected for five more years.

“The time ahead will be that of resolute action for France and for Europe,” Macron said. He promised to “first take action to avoid any escalation following Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.”

Macron vowed to “take action relentlessly with a goal, which is to be a more independent nation, to live better and to build our own French and European responses to the century’s challenges.”

Macron also promised to find a “fair method” to govern the country and ease social tensions by making the government and parliament work together with unions, associations and other people from the political, economic, social and cultural world.

For a president at ease speaking for hours on end, Macron’s speech was surprisingly short — and handwritten. He took the time afterwards to greet guests, shake hands and exchange kisses.

While he was in charge of strict lockdowns during the French pandemic, he also mandated coronavirus vaccinations. But most restrictions are now lifted. There were no signs of social distancing or masks at the inauguration.

The event seemed unusually child-friendly for French presidential ceremonies, with several dignitaries bringing their children — and at least two in baby strollers. Macron, 44 years old, does not have any children, but he has many stepchildren and grandchildren.

The ceremony was attended by approximately 500 people. These guests were mostly from politics but also include actors and military personnel, as well as former Presidents Francois Sarkozy and Francois Hollande. In spite of the growing demand for more diversity in French politics, most people who were invited to this event were dressed in suits.

Macron smirked at Brigitte Macron when he arrived at the Elysee’s reception hall.

The president of the Constitutional Council read out the results of the election and Macron was given the necklace of Grand Master of the Legion of Honor, France’s highest distinction, before making his speech.

The tradition dictated that he then go to the Elysee palace gardens to listen to 21 cannon shots fired from the Invalides plaza.

Macron also evaluated the military. Troops present at the ceremony included part of the crew of the Monge, the French navy’s second-biggest ship that is key to France’s nuclear deterrent. It was notably used for the tests of France’s nuclear-capable submarine-launched M51 missiles.

The symbol can be seen as a show of force at times when France is deeply involved in efforts to stop Russia’s war against Ukraine, including via sending truck-mounted cannons and other heavy weapons.

Macron’s second term will formally start on May 14.

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