Europe

Macron considers joint session of parliament in Versailles

The palace of Versailles, 29 May Image copyright AFP
Image caption Versailles is rarely used by parliament

The new French President, Emmanuel Macron, is considering convening a joint session of parliament in the palace of Versailles, a spokesman said.

Speaking on LCI television, government spokesman Christophe Castaner said he could not confirm or deny that 3 July had already been chosen as the date.

The National Assembly and the Senate normally meet in Paris.

The last two occasions on which they gathered at Versailles were at times of national crisis.

In 2009, the then President, Nicolas Sarkozy, addressed a congress at the height of the global financial and banking crisis, while in November 2015, Francois Hollande convened a session after the attacks by Islamic State militants on Paris.

Mr Macron's centrist party, La République en Marche (LREM), won an overall majority in the National Assembly at elections this month.

He has promised sweeping reforms planned to revive France's economy, from simplifying labour laws to lowering unemployment and cutting corporation tax from 33% to 25%.

He chose Versailles, the sumptuous former palace of France's kings, to host Russian President Vladimir Putin on a visit last month.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Vladimir Putin (L) and Emmanuel Macron at Versailles last month

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