‘Stop taking us for idiots!’ Macron faces new Frexit call for selling off French interests

Macron's fishing threats would harm 'everybody' says expert

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The French President has come under fire after he called for a rethink of EU defence. President Macron said on Thursday the EU needed to define a new defence strategy that would strengthen its ability to defend itself, even though the transatlantic NATO alliance remained useful and effective.

Mr Macron said reinforcing Europe’s sovereignty – from ensuring its security and protecting its businesses to better controlling migration – will be a key aim of France’s EU presidency.

Speaking at a news conference, Mr Macron said: “We must move from a Europe of cooperation within our borders to a Europe that is powerful in the world, fully sovereign, free in its choices and master of its destiny.”

But following news that Finland will replace its F-18 fighter jets with American F-35 fighters, Frexit President Charles Henri-Gallois accused Mr Macron of “selling off” France interests for his own ideology.

He tweeted: “When will you stop taking us for idiots with the defence EU?

“Finland will buy 64 American F-35s.

“There is only Macron to believe in such a chimera.

“Defence can only be national.

“Let him stop selling off our interests in the name of his ideology!”

He continued: “Macronists sacrifice all of our interests in the name of their ideology.

“At the moment when France takes the presidency of the Council of the European Union, the announces its purchases of F-35s.

“Huge middle finger to Macron from them.

“They respond directly to what they think.”

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A petition has also been launched demanding a second referendum to the European constitutional treaty.

Since 2005 – when 55 percent of the French public voted no to the constitutional treaty – there has not been another referendum.

However, the Frexit party is demanding another vote following Britain’s departure from the bloc – meaning France’s financial contribution has increased by €29 billion per year.

They have also demanded the vote after the Commission adopted an “EU relaunch plan” following the coronavirus pandemic.

This would cost France and other member states €40 billion.

Mr Henri-Gallois tweeted: “For France, a net contributor, they could not use the blockages of the stimulus plan or budgetary funds but it would be: The fines of the CJEU.

“Cut the monetary tap with the ECB because of our membership in the euro.”

This comes after Poland and Hungary are expected not to benefit from the European recovery plan despite other member states receiving their first instalment this year.

Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis said on Tuesday: “The approval work is underway.

“It is unlikely that we will be able to finalise it this year.”

Had the plans been approved, the two countries would have been entitled to the first instalment of 13 percent out of the total 23.9 billion and 7.2 billion euros in subsidies.

The EU Covid recovery fund was met with anger as the bloc wants to link the behaviour of member states with access to the funds by means of a “rule of law” mechanism.

This means any country which pursues policies which the EU feels do not uphold its core values will lose access to the vital funds.

In November last year, Hungary and Poland blocked the EU budget over the rule of law issue.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said his country’s position on the budget and recovery fund is “rock-solid” and will not seek a compromise on the rule of law issue.

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