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Macron calls for national cohesion, vows to push reforms

Xinhua,January 01, 2018 Adjust font size:

PARIS, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- In a televised New Year's Eve speech released on Sunday evening, French President Emmanuel Macron urged citizens of his country to end "irreconcilable divisions" in the coming year and vowed to continue the "profound transformations" that he launched in 2017.

"At the national level, the year 2018 will be about the cohesion of the nation," said Macron in the video clip filmed at the Elysee Palace, sitting in front of the French and the European flags.

"We have been divided for too long and too often. Debates are necessary but irreconcilable divisions undermine our country," he said.

"By your choices, throughout the year of 2017 you have allowed an in-depth transformation of our country to happen," said the president. "I will continue to do what you elected me for: not to adapt France to the rest of the world, but to allow our country to be what it is."

The transformations initiated in 2017, including those in education and employment, "will continue with the same force in 2018", he assured the citizens, adding that he "will not stop acting" despite the "discordant voices".

As for the European project, Macron reaffirmed that he was "committed to Europe", and deeply believed that "Europe is good for France".

He called upon his fellow French to participate in citizen consultations in order to make Europe "more sovereign, more united and more democratic".

"I need your determination for a 'European leap,' and to not yield to nationalists or skeptics," he stressed.

Macron also vowed to fight relentlessly against terrorism in 2018 in the Middle East, Africa and the French territory.

The president's New Year's Even speech has been a political tradition in France since 1960. Enditem