EU army preparations are in shambles as a defense accord between France and Greece ignites a ‘deep rift’ within the group.
EMMANUEL MACRON’S ideas for an EU-led defense strategy have already encountered a snag after France’s £5 billion defense contract with Greece was received with silence from Brussels and outrage from Germany.
Amid mounting “fractures” in the EU, Germany is “not on board” with the latest £5 billion Franco-Greek defense accord. According to Time Magazine’s Vivienne Walt, Brussels is “not behind” Emmanuel Macron’s arrangement with Athens. Greece will purchase three French frigates, with an option for a fourth, as well as Rafale fighter jets, under the terms of the agreement.
The Greek prime minister lauded the agreement as “a first step toward European defense autonomy.”
The EU, on the other hand, has kept silent on the deal.
“It’s a minor armaments sale when compared to what was planned with the Australians,” Ms Walt told France24.
“It’s three billion euros vs roughly sixty billion,” says the author.
“What’s frightening is that this isn’t about Europe,” she continued. It has to do with France and Greece.
“You don’t have the EU’s support for this.”
“There is a deep schism inside the EU when it comes to dealing with Turkey.
“You don’t have any Germans with you.”
“You have this sense of splitting in Europe after the AUKUS fiasco.”
“These private alliances are going on.”
However, there is a possibility of a backlash in Greece as well.
“Ordinary Greeks are wondering why the government is providing seven billion euros to France when we have so many other problems to deal with,” Nathalie Savaricas, a France24 reporter in Athens, remarked.
The treaty is expected to bring France and Turkey closer together, as it requires Paris to “completely support” Greek territorial claims, which Turkey disputes and has been the source of escalating tensions in recent months.
Germany is thought to be dissatisfied since it relies on Turkey to curb migration and has sold Ankara diesel-electric submarines.
“Greece’s approach of arming, isolating, and alienating Turkey is a dangerous policy that will harm itself and the European Union, and undermine regional peace and security,” Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said.