Macron promises 'a stronger France' at inauguration for second term as president

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Emmanuel Macron was sworn in for his second term as France's president this Saturday at a ceremony at the Elysée Palace, followed by the firing of canons at the Invalides gardens.

In a short speech, Macron spoke of the need to innovate at a time of unprecedented challenges for the world and for France, and said his second term would be "new" and not merely a continuation of the first.

"I vow to build a planet that is more liveable, a France that is more alive and a stronger France," he said in address at the Elysée Palace, vowing a "new method" to govern after a first term that had often polarised the country, adding that he would act with "respect" and "consideration".

He highlighted the threat posed by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and global environmental concerns.

Among the 500 guests present were former presidents François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy; former prime ministers Edouard Philippe, Manuel Valls, Alain Juppe and Jean-Pierre Raffarin; as well as religious leaders and other state figures.

End of one campaign, beginning of another

Macron's inauguration marks the end of one electoral campaign and the opening of another - for legislative elections in June.

A newly united political left - a coalition formed between far-left France Unbowed (LFI), the Socialist Party (PS), the Greens (EELV) and the Communist Party (PCF) - is hoping to deprive Macron of a majority in parliament.

Macron will visit the European Parliament in Strasbourg on for "Europe Day" on Monday.

Later in the week, for the first trip abroad since his inauguration, he heads to Berlin to meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

44-year-old Macron is the first president who does not belong to a coalition government to be re-elected since the formation of the Fifth Republic in 1958.

Macron's new term formally begins on the evening of 13 May and his prime minister, Jean Castex, remains in office until then.

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