Macron criticised over ‘hypocritical’ Yemen stance by expert
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Last week, France and Germany signed a new space agreement that will see more investment into the Ariane 6 rocket. The deal, announced by French and German Economy Ministers Bruno Le Maire and Peter Altmaier “guarantees the financing of the Ariane 6 rocket, cooperation between the two countries on launchers, and also the European preference for satellite launches”.
Both countries also agreed to give Ariane 6 and the new Vega version a preferential status for public and institutional launches.
The economy ministers of both countries also seem to have found a common line with regards to micro-launchers – which also was a source of discordance in recent months.
The agreement will now have to be discussed and endorsed by the other European Space Agency member states.
But in France, critics say the deal is yet another example of Mr Macron’s capitulation to German demands.
French daily Les Echoes warned: “The Franco-German compromise, which aims to preserve the future of Ariane 6 while opening up the market to competition on small launchers, must still convince the partners of the European Space Agency.
“In France, concerns point to an agreement that would partially strip the industrial tool for the benefit of Germany.”
Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel agreed on more fundings for Ariane 6 space rocket (Image: GETTY)
They continued: “It is in reality France which emerges weakened … with a ruinous agreement which sacrifices the French industrial fabric for the benefit of Germany by numerous industrial transfers (Vinci engines, new Astris propulsion stage).”
Sharing the news on Twitter, Generation Frexit leader Charles-Henri Gallois also blasted: “Like all Franco-German projects, this amounts to transferring our technologies and our factories to Germany!
“Let’s take back control.”
The accord gives Ariane 6 an “institutional and commercial future”, Mr Le Maire said, “mainly on the market for constellations”.
With regards to the small launchers that are mainly developed in Germany by a couple of startups, Mr Altmaier added: “We all believe that micro-launchers have a great future.”
The Franco-German deal is the latest of the controversial agreements made between the two governments this year.
Critics of the submissive alliance between the two countries also lamented Emmanuel Macron gave into Ms Merkel’s demands over the development of the FCAS combat jet this year.
In May, France, Germany and Spain said they had reached a deal over the next steps of the development of a new fighter jet, Europe’s largest defence project at an estimated cost of more than 100 billion euros (£86 billion).
France in particular has billed the combat jet project – which includes a next-generation manned and unmanned aircraft – as crucial for Europe to strengthen its defence autonomy and face competition from China, Russia and the United States.
France and Germany had originally set the end of April for a deal, but a dispute over how to share intellectual property rights held up negotiations.
French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly tweeted: “France, Germany and Spain are building one of the most important tools for their sovereignty and that of Europe in the 21st century.”
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Emmanuel Macron has been accused of capitulating to Merkel’s demands on Ariane 6 (Image: GETTY)
Critics of the plan, however, lamented a betrayal by French President Macron in favour of Mrs Merkel’s demands.
Earlier this month, an “interim” deal between Germany and the US also sparked fury in France.
Ms Merkel’s defence team will purchase five Boeing (BA.N) P-8A maritime patrol aircraft, it has been announced. Following approval from the parliamentary budget committee, the contract will now be signed, the ministry as Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said as she visited her counterpart in the United States.
The deal could have damaging repercussions for Franco-German Maritime Airborne Warfare System (MAWS) programme.
Sharing the news on Twitter, Les Patriotes leader Florian Philippot blasted Germany’s “humiliating” decision.
Posting an article by French daily La Tribune titled “Maritime patrol planes: how Germany rolled France in the flour”, Mr Philippot tweeted: “Maritime patrol planes: Germany makes France believe that it wants cooperation but in fact buys American equipment!
“Florence Parly, the Minister of the Armed Forces, says it has fallen from the clouds!
“We are stripped and humiliated!