The French president announced on Friday his plan to significantly increase the military and intelligence budget.

Iran PressEurope: France will boost military spending by more than a third in coming years, Emmanuel Macron said on Friday, as he unveiled ambitions to transform the French army to deal with the great "perils" of this century.

The increase in France's military budget comes as the country faces widespread protests.

At the same time as the nationwide strikes of French workers protesting the raising of the retirement age to 64 years, more than one million people marched in the streets of Paris and other major cities of the country on Thursday evening and chanted against the policies of President Emmanuel Macron.

In a speech Friday, Macron said he expects the state to spend 400 billion euros ($433 billion) between 2024 and 2030, an increase from the 295 billion euros of the 2019-2025 period. The budget, which risks being affected by inflation and energy costs, is set to be submitted to parliament in March. Macron said he is counting on approval by the summer. 

“The new conflicts of our century will not be of our choosing,” Macron said in a new year speech on Friday at the Mont-de-Marsan air force base in south-west France. “There is no more peace dividend because of the aggression of Russia against Ukraine.”  

France has regularly fallen short of that target. According to Nato figures, France spent about 1.8 per cent of GDP on defence from 2014 to 2019, and 2 per cent in 2020, the last year data were available.   219