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French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech at the Assembly of the Representatives of the People during his visit to Tunis, Tunisia February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi


TUNIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that he would push to double French investment in Tunisia over five years to buttress the country's faltering economy and its democratic transition.

"A number of companies have already confirmed their willingness to invest," Macron said in an address to the Tunisian parliament, without naming any firms.

Macron paid tribute to Tunisia's 2011 uprising and its efforts to build a democratic system, saying the challenge was now to "transform this cultural and democratic spring into a political, economic and social spring," that benefited all social classes.

The French president had pledged more than 270 million euros ($335 million) in new financing for Tunisia on Wednesday as he began a two-day state visit to the North African country.

(Reporting by Marine Pennetier and Aidan Lewis; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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