6 held for allegedly plotting to attack French leader Emmanuel Macron
09 November, 2018, 01:06 | Author: Myra Gill
Touring battlefields ahead of a formal commemoration of the November 11, 1918, armistice that ended the war, MacronsaidPetain was worthy of the honor for his leading role in the World War I victory.
Acknowledging this, Mr Macronsaid: "I am not hiding any page of history".
The 40-year-old French president, sliding in polls, is gaining a reputation for making awkward or shocking statements.
The French president has pushed for closer EU defence union since coming to power previous year but his proposals have been met with a lukewarm reception from member states.
Last week he warned of the "leprosy" of nationalism spreading worldwide and declared that he had been struck by the similarities of current times and the period between World War One and World War Two.
"He was a great soldier, it's a fact", Macronsaid, though he stressed that Petain had made "disastrous choices" during World War II.
Authorities declined to if they were suspected of working together or separately.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May will join Mr Macron on Friday at the Somme while President Trump will join dozens of world leaders for Sunday's ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Opponents have played up Macron's image as being a "president for the rich".
"Petain is a traitor and an anti-Semite", tweeted Jean-Luc Melenchon of the far-left France Unbowed party, echoing a flurry of angry postings.
Denouncing Macron's decision to "scare voters" by "raising the spectre of the 1930s", as "totally irresponsible", RN General Secretary Nicolas Bay said the French government was "alone, aside from the Spanish administration, in defending a model of mass immigration".
He was imprisoned for life in 1945 for treason after heading the Nazi collaborationist French administration based in Vichy from 1940-44 and signing antisemitic laws that facilitated the deportation and death of tens of thousands of French Jews in death camps. "This anti-Semitic traitor can not be amnestied by the caprice of Macron". Petain emerged from the Great War as a national hero with streets in towns and cities across France named after him.
The European elections are shaping up to be a major battle between centrist, pro-EU parties like Macron's LREM and far-right formations that want to stop immigration and globalization.
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