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Macron makes northern pilgrimage

Macron makes northern pilgrimage
By Robert Hackwill
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French president visits sites of great WWI battles and says regions' suffering must end.


The climax of the centenary of the end of WWI is coming to a crescendo in the north of France, where the mud still yields up remains and fragments from the Great War, 100 years away, every time there is heavy rain.

"French President Emmanuel Macron said he wanted to honour the past but also to honour these regions, these villages and towns that suffered a lot during WWI, but have also suffered in recent years with high levels of unemployment and poverty.

And Emmanuel Macron knows what it means in the polls: in last year's presidential election the far-right notched up significant scores in this part of the country. The residents in these regions have mixed feelings about this visit but less about the French president's performance," reports euronews' Annelise Borges.

"You know, a lot of people are fed up and remember there are some that have only 500 euros to live per month, or even less. Look at all the people that are living in the street, who have no home or cannot eat enough," said one retired woman.

"The president is someone who knows what he's doing, who's determined, someone you can count on in any situation," said another.

Whether or not what these locals have to say will change Emmanuel Macron's drive to reform this country and to reform a wide range of areas at the same time, is anyone's guess.

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