INTRODUCTION: The new Socialist President of France Francois Mitterrand took the salute at the traditional Bastille Day parade in Paris on tuesday (14 July).
GV Mitterrand arriving and boards jeep.
GV Mitterrand reviews armoured vehicles.
GV Mitterrand at attention as National Anthem played.
GV Aircraft fly over Arc d'Triomphe with coloured smoke trails. (2 SHOTS)
GV & SV men and women in ceremonial military march past as Mitterrand takes salute.
GV & SV Officer cadets march past.
GV French troops marching past.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: The new Socialist President of France Francois Mitterrand took the salute at the traditional Bastille Day parade in Paris on tuesday (14 July). There was a break in tradition though, with the French foreign Legion unit being the only professional soldiers in the march past. National Servicemen made up the build of the 6,500 troops.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Mitterrand wanted his personal stamp on the first Bastille Day celebrations under a French Socialist Government since 1936. He declared the festivities should be 'decentralized, popular and republican' to bring the nation and its army closer together.
Mr. Mitterrand, Prime Minister Mauroy and the new Cabinet reviewed the troops on the Place de la Concorde
Cloudy skies prevented a fly-past by France's most modern aircraft, including the Mirage and Jaguar fighter-bombers, but the weather did not stop a spectacular display by jets trailing blue, white and red smoke.
In another move to bring the army closer to the people, many of the service members were invited by the President to a reception after the march past. As well as Paris, the French celebrated Bastille Day in other parts of the country, while ex-patriots held festival throughout the world.
Thousands of people lined the Champs Elysees to watch the parade in remembrance of the storming of the Bastille fortress during the French Revolution, 192 years ago. The presence of the Foreign Legion has been interpreted as a sign the Legion will continue under the Mitterrand regime, despite calls from Communist ministers to disband it.
Bastille Day ended with dancing in the streets of Paris and eventually traditional fireworks display.