- Title: Protest balloon flies over Paris as Macron attends Bastille Day ceremony
- Date: 14th July 2020
- Summary: MACRON STANDING IN FRONT OF MILITARY OFFICER TROOPS ON CONCORDE PLACE
- Embargoed: 28th July 2020 14:43
- Keywords: Bastille Day France Macron Paris balloon ceremony coronavirus health workers national day protest
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA002CMS7ZNR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: As France was holding a a scaled-down annual Bastille Day celebration on Tuesday (July 14) due to the COVID-19 epidemic, balloons were seen in the sky above the Place de la Concorde square carrying a sign reading "Economy is costing us lives."
Instead of the usual tanks and troops parading down Paris's Champs Elysees avenue, President Emmanuel Macron, standing in the back of a military jeep, reviewed ranks of socially-distanced troops in the Place de la Concorde after a flypast by military aircraft.
This year's celebrations of the French National Day paid tribute to health workers who have been in the frontlines of France's battle against the virus, joining troops on the square for the ceremony and garnering applause from attendees.
On the other side of the sign hanging from the balloons, another message read: "Behind the tributes Macron suffocates the hospital".
French Prime Minister Jean Castex has confirmed his government would commit 7.5 billion euros to raise the wages of hospital workers but said he would resist union calls to boost that to 9 billion, saying that state finances are under stress because of the coronavirus crisis.
Later on Tuesday after the military parade, thousands of health workers protested with yellow vests in the streets of the French capital.
(Production Emilie Delwarde, Ardee Napolitano)
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