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Now an old fear of the French has been confirmed

Hopefully, when the German Chancellor arrives in Paris for the tête-à-tête with Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday, he will have read the French press.

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Now an old fear of the French has been confirmed

Hopefully, when the German Chancellor arrives in Paris for the tête-à-tête with Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday, he will have read the French press. Reading it would make him realize the seriousness of the situation. The tone in the French media is rough, the conclusions are unmistakable: the adjournment of the Franco-German Council of Ministers has revealed what has been smoldering for weeks: a dispute that could lead to a rupture, the end of an idyll.

Germany is referred to in France as a "solo rider", a country on a course of selfishness that does not care about its partners when it repeatedly goes it alone. There is now talk of "Germany First", and as a result of disappointment, annoyance, bitterness.

An “ice age” is diagnosed, if not the “unexpected divorce” of the Franco-German couple, who, significantly, is only called that on the left bank of the Rhine. On the right bank of the Rhine it was always, much more unsentimentally, an engine. As is well known, engines can be repaired, couples can at most be treated. But once trust is broken, relationships can no longer be repaired.

"You get the impression of a déjà vu experience," says France correspondent Peter Heusch on the relationship between Macron and Scholz. There are fears in France that the same thing is happening as it was with Merkel. But this time, you can't afford that.

Source: WORLD

The Franco-German friendship turns out to be a chimera, write French commentators, others speak of a myth, but an "asymmetrical myth". The list of points of contention is now endless. In energy policy they are obvious. Months before war broke out, energy prices began to rise, but within a year Berlin and Paris have failed to agree on a line.

France wants a European gas price cap. Germany thinks this is the wrong strategy. Their last meeting in Brussels showed that the partners are playing tough. Macron spoke before the energy summit that Germany was "isolated". In the subtext one could read that he had traveled to Brussels with the intention of achieving just that: cornering and overruling Scholz.

Instead of a joint energy strategy, the German chancellor announced his German "double boom" of 200 billion euros, which aroused fears of enormous shifts in competition, not only in France. It is fair to say that France is also "booming", albeit much more discreetly. Although Paris is also putting 120 billion into the energy price cap, Scholz can be attested to "psychological and communicative incompetence", as did the opposition politician Norbert Röttgen (CDU).

The energy strategy is about national interests that cannot be argued away, which is why Macron is in a way trying to gain understanding for Germany among his own compatriots. The neighbor was more upset than France by the war and its dependence on Russian gas. "Our Europe is experiencing a moment of truth," Macron said in an interview with the business daily Les Echos, in which he called for "strong energy choices and financial solidarity".

The situation is different when it comes to armament issues. Macron has not yet commented publicly on the fact that Berlin has slapped France several times in a row in its strategic decisions. Because while the Franco-German armaments projects such as the Scaf fighter jet and the tank of the future are on hold due to industrial jealousies and fears, the Bundeswehr is eagerly buying from non-European armaments companies.

Including the American F-35 fighter jets for 40 billion euros and an Israeli missile defense system. When Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) announced the so-called European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI) in mid-October, in which 14 other countries are participating, she spoke of a win-win situation for everyone. Just not for France.

It's a lose-lose situation for Paris. Together with the Italians, they have developed the Mamba anti-aircraft system, one of which is already stationed on the eastern border of Romania. It's operational, but Berlin doesn't want it.

This confirms the old fear of the French, expressed by Charles de Gaulle, that Germany would be closer to the United States than to its neighbors in an emergency. On armament issues, Scholz should have followed the political decisions made by his predecessor, Angela Merkel. Paris shows that he didn't do this: You can't rely on Germany. Above all, it shows that Macron's idea of ​​European sovereignty and common defense was quietly and secretly buried by Scholz.

The Franco-German crisis is collateral damage of the war. The energy crisis has turned the initial solidarity into an ordeal. Friends have become competitors. "They want to destroy us," the daily Figaro anonymously quotes a player in the French economy.

According to the accusation from Paris, Germany is leading an “anti-nuclear crusade” against France in Brussels. There, the German partners are again accused of building new ones after their dependence on Russian gas by relying on southern European or North African hydrogen. An "absurd project", judges the news magazine L'Express and adds: "France has no intention of turning into a transit country between Mediterranean countries and Germany."

This explains Macron's stubborn no to the missing piece of gas pipeline between Barcelona and Carcassonne (Midcat). If the relationship hadn't been so shattered, the French would probably have made concessions. It was not even 200 kilometers.

The fact that Macron has now agreed an underwater pipeline between Barcelona and Marseille (Barmar) behind the back of his German counterpart with the Spaniards and Portuguese is a points victory for him. And if Scholz were surrounded by advisors who could read France, they would have read Macron's apodictic no to Midcat for what it was: an expression of anger at Berlin.

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