When Vichy regime leader Pétain was to be honoured on Armistice Day


Among the several ceremonies marking the centenary of the WW1 Armistice signed on November 11th 1918, France’s joint military chiefs of staff had planned a tribute, to be attended by President Emmanuel Macron, to the eight Marshals who fought in the Great War. The eight included Philippe Pétain, who led France’s collaborationist Vichy regime during German occupation of the country from 1940 to 1944. Macron’s office has made clear that the president will not attend any celebration of the disgraced figure, and said it is bewildered how such a ceremony "ended up" in the official presentation of Armistice centenary events without having been submitted for approval. Ellen Salvi reports.

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On September 18th, French education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer and his government colleague Geneviève Darrieussecq, state secretary for the armed forces ministry, were in Clermont-Ferrand in central France to present the programme of commemorations for the centenary next month of the WW1 Armistice, which will culminate in a grand ceremony in Paris on November 11th with 120 foreign dignitaries in attendance, including US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.