President Macron announced creation of a new space force command


French police fired tear gas to disperse protesters from Paris's Champs Elysees avenue on Sunday, a few hours after President Emmanuel Macron had reviewed the traditional Bastille Day military parade alongside other European leaders.

Key EU leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, joined Macron in Paris to watch the annual parade that included representatives of nine other European armies in a show of unity.

Officers attempted to disperse dozens of protesters, who chanted anti-government slogans, knocked down security barriers erected for the parade and set fire to refuse bins.

He said some 200 rioters had tried to occupy the Champs Elysees but had been pushed out. But the show-stealer was the sight of a man rocketing through the air on a jet-powered flyboard, invented by French former jet-skiing champion Franky Zapata.

For his third July 14 parade, the French president invited the leaders of member countries of the European Intervention Initiative (E2I), including Germany, the Netherlands, Britain, Spain and Denmark, "to act together" for a rapid European intervention force which defends common strategic interests.

The guest of honor in 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump, came away so impressed by the spectacle he ordered a military parade in Washington for America's independence day celebration.

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More than 4,000 members of the armed forces marched down the avenue in a tradition that dates back to the years following World War One.

Macron delivered the message on the annual holiday commemorating a group of Parisians that stormed the Bastille prison at the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789, which is celebrated with parades including displays of France's military forces.

Meanwhile, police were braced for potential further trouble on the Champs-Elysees later Sunday as Algeria face Nigeria in the semi-final of the Africa Cup of Nations football.

Last year Macron had spoken of the need for a strategy for space defence and this was the result, he said.

There had been calls on social media for so-called yellow-vest protesters to use the national day celebrations to renew their demonstrations against President Macron.