Monday, 6 Dec 2021

Europeans MUST be respected! Macron unleashes fury at Joe Biden in bitter submarine rant

Macron ‘won’t fill Merkel role’ says Professor Bricmont

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The French President called on EU member states to “stop being naive” after the US was instrumental in Australia reneging on its “contract of the century” with France. Mr Macron was enraged earlier this month when Boris Johnson, Mr Biden and Australian leader Scott Morrison announced the Aukus deal.

It saw Australia unilaterally withdraw from a long-standing multi-billion pound deal with the French to supply it with diesel-powered submarines.

Instead, America and the UK will provide it with the technology to develop nuclear-powered submarines in an effort to curtail Chinese aggression in the Indo-Pacific.

Speaking today, Mr Macron insisted Europe must consider the consequences of America’s increasing focus on Xi Jinping’s China and where that could leave the bloc in the future.

He said: “When we are affected by powers that sometimes harden, reacting and showing that we also have the power and the ability to defend ourselves is not giving in to escalation, it is simply getting others to respect us.

“The United States of America is our historical friend and ally in terms of values, but we are forced to note that for more than 10 years the United States first of all focused on itself.

“And it has strategic interests which are orienting themselves towards China and the Pacific.

“It’s their right, it’s their own sovereignty.

“But we would be naive and make a terrible mistake if we didn’t consider all the consequences for ourselves.”

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Just 10 days after news of the Aukus deal enraged France and its EU allies, Mr Macron signed an agreement to sell three frigates to Greece.

He lauded it as a new step in the “strategic partnership” between Paris and Athens in the Mediterranean.

This agreement was signed at the Élysée in Paris by Mr Macron and the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

The three Belharra frigates will be built in France by Naval Group and are due to be delivered to the Greek navy in 2025.

A diplomatic source said the contract amounted to several billion pounds and is seen as an effort to counter aggression from Turkey in the Mediterranean.

Mr Mitsotakis stressed that this agreement meets “the needs” of Greece, which is strengthening its armament programme to counter Turkish provocations.

“France was at our side during the difficult period of summer 2020 (when Covid badly affected Greece’s economy),” he said.

He also insisted that the purchase was “not antagonistic” to Turkey.

In Ankara, the Turkish Defence Ministry simply indicated that it had “taken note” of this announcement.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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