French Ambassador To India - H.E. Mr. Alexandre Ziegler, At The Indian Express For An #IdeaExchange.

"What we are building with India is a partnership of values and trust between two nations." - H.E. Mr. Alexandre Ziegler

SHUBHAJIT ROY: The French president, Emmanuel Macron, recently visited India. How different was his visit from previous such trips?

It was an exceptional visit. We had planned it very carefully. From an official perspective, and in the way it was perceived by the French public, it was an outstanding visit. The chemistry between our two leaders during the visit made it exceptional. It was an occasion for President Macron to engage with both officials and the people of India. The symbolic part of the visit — the president’s encounters with students, artistes and people on the streets — added to the quality of the visit.

SHAILAJA BAJPAI: How would you describe President Macron?

He is young and conveys the image that he can understand the younger generation. The reforms he is undertaking will survive for a long, long time. He understands the future. He is energetic and has understood that the time has come where people in France are ready for reforms. He is doing what he said he would be doing. So not only is he reforming rapidly, he is sticking to his programme. Whatever he had promised, he is delivering.

He came at a time not unique to just the French democracy but probably common to many democracies in the world — when traditional government parties were not exactly discredited, but people felt that they have tried them all. People wanted something new, and he was able to capture this dynamic. He took the best from the traditional parties and then engaged in real work and offered real jobs and real reforms.

He has said that he decided to get involved in politics when it was at a low level. He has managed to come across as a person who is bringing a new model, a new way of doing politics, a new way of transforming the country. He brought a huge wave of optimism. He was able to bring back confidence to our country and to Europe.

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