French President Emmanuel Macron Proposes Creation of 'Real European Army'


French security agents have arrested six people on preliminary terrorism charges for allegedly plotting to attack French President Emmanuel Macron, according to a French judicial official.

French TV channel BFM TV reported that the six were members of the far-right, but that could not be independently confirmed.

"This investigation is looking into a plot, vague and ill-defined at this stage, involving violent action against the president of the republic", prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Authorities said the six were between 22 and 62 years old and included one woman.

The arrests were carried out in three separate areas of France: Isere, southeast of Lyon; Moselle, on the border with Germany and Luxembourg; and in Ille-et-Vilaine, in the northwest near the city of Rennes.

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Ben McCauley, the emergency helicopter crew member, described the incident as "absolutely horrific". He died of his injuries, police confirmed early on Tuesday.

Italy and France's far-right leaders launched their European Parliament election campaign on Monday (8 October) with an attack on the "Brussels bunker" they hope to enter en masse after the May vote.

Macron called for "protection from China, Russia, and even from the United States of America", suggesting that Donald Trump's recent decision to pull the USA from the INF Treaty would endanger European security.

"We will not be able to protect Europeans if we don't decide to have a real European army", he told Europe 1's Nikos Aliagas, insiting that Europe should be defending itself in a "more souvereing way", without depending "only on the United States".

Plans to form a European Union army were one of the reasons Brexiteers fought to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum because it would spell the end to the UK's independent foreign policy and worse still undermine North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.