France’s elites need to end their “neurotic fascination” with Germany, says Jean-Loup Bonnamy in Le Point. There’s no “privileged relationship” at stake: after reunification in 1990, Germany’s centre of gravity shifted east to central Europe, which it uses as a manufacturing base. And for 15 years Berlin “has pursued a strictly selfish policy”. It imposed drastic austerity on the Greeks, despite never honouring its war debts to them. It gave up nuclear power and fired up its coal plants in 2011 without consulting its allies. Worse, it’s opposing the EU’s attempt to class nuclear power as renewable.
That’s not the only “bone of contention”. In 2013 Berlin provided “derisory support” to France’s anti-terrorism mission in Mali – a mission that protects German investments in the country. In 2020, when France supported Greece against Turkish aggression in the Mediterranean, Germany merely told both sides to “avoid escalation”. Days after the fiasco of our cancelled Australian submarine contract, Germany signed a space technology agreement with the Aussies. No surprise, really, given that it plans to “kill” the French defence industry to protect its own. As Angela Merkel bows out, so should our “illusion of the Franco-German couple”.