Macron uses news conference to show his leadership hasn’t faded

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French President Emmanuel Macron answers a question during his first prime-time news conference to announce his top priorities for the year as he seeks to revitalize his presidency, vowing to focus on “results” despite not having a majority in parliament, Jan 16 at the Elysee Palace in Paris. (AP)

PARIS, Jan 17, (AP): French President Emmanuel Macron made a point of showing his leadership hasn’t faded in more than two hours of answering questions at a news conference in which he promised a stronger France to face the world’s challenges.
“I still have three years and a half in office,” he said, describing an ambition to both change the daily life of the French and tackle global crises.
Macron’s wide-ranging news conference followed the appointment last week of France’s youngest-ever prime minister.
The 46-year-old centrist president promised “audacity, action, efficiency” in the hopes of strengthening his legacy through a series of reforms, starting with an economic bill meant to boost growth and tax cuts for middle-class households.
He also detailed how he would preserve France’s struggling health system and accelerate changes at schools. He advocated for uniforms in public schools, learning the national anthem at a young age and expanding a two-week training period in high schools to promote French values and encourage youth to give back to the community.
With no majority in parliament, Macron suggested many of the changes could be implemented without passing new laws.
The French president vowed to make France “stronger” to face global crises, announcing plans to deliver more long-range cruise missiles as well as bombs to Ukraine.
He also suggested that he’d find ways to work with Donald Trump in the event that he wins another presidency.
Under growing pressure from an emboldened far-right ahead of June’s European elections, he denounced the National Rally as “the party of the lies.” He warned about the “danger zone” as voters across Europe are increasingly choosing the far-right.
We must tackle issues that “make people vote for them,” he said, including fighting unemployment and better controlling immigration.

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