Emmanuel Macron criticized by oppositions after mentioning a European defense including nuclear weapons

“A French head of state should not say that

Emmanuel Macron criticized by oppositions after mentioning a European defense including nuclear weapons

“A French head of state should not say that. » Like the candidate for the European elections François-Xavier Bellamy (Les Républicains, LR), most of the oppositions crushed Emmanuel Macron on Sunday, April 28, after his interview published on Saturday by the regional newspapers of the Ebra group.

In this interview, the President of the Republic said he was ready to “open the debate” on a European defense which would also include nuclear weapons. “I am in favor of opening this debate which must therefore include anti-missile defense, long-range weapon firing, nuclear weapons for those who have them or who have American nuclear weapons on their soil,” a- he estimated, calling on European countries to put all options “on the table”, looking “at what truly protects in a credible manner”. If he assured that France would keep “its specificity”, Mr. Macron said he was ready “to contribute more to the defense of European soil”.

In his speech at the Sorbonne on Thursday, Mr. Macron had already addressed this question of French nuclear weapons. “Nuclear deterrence is indeed at the heart of French defense strategy. It is therefore, in essence, an essential element in the defense of the European continent,” he said, taking up aspects of a speech on deterrence delivered in February 2020.

But, for MEP François-Xavier Bellamy, “this expression is exceptionally serious, because here we touch the very nerve of French sovereignty,” he said on Sunday on “Grand Rendez-Vous” broadcast by Europe 1, CNews and Les Echos. “Nuclear deterrence is based on the mastery of a technology which is very expensive for the French, which is a historic investment of our country, and to dispossess the French of it is a failure for the President of the Republic,” continued Mr. .Bellamy.

For LFI, Macron wants to “liquidate French strategic autonomy”

Like the right, La France insoumise (LFI) estimated on Sunday, in a press release from its parliamentary group, that Mr. Macron “has just dealt a new blow to the credibility of French nuclear deterrence”. This "cannot be shared" and, "under the cover of defending European soil, Macron wants to liquidate French strategic autonomy", criticized on defense issues.

On the far right, MEP Thierry Mariani (National Rally) said, also on X: “[Emmanuel] Macron [was] becoming a national danger. » “After nuclear weapons, there will follow France's permanent seat on the UN Security Council, which will also be sold off to the European Union,” he protested. At the antipodes, the head of the list of Ecologists in the European elections, Marie Toussaint, in favor of a “European federal leap”, considered that this meant the “sharing of this force which is the French weapon, therefore nuclear power too”.

The head of state, however, received support on Sunday from his ally, the president of MoDem, François Bayrou. For the mayor of Pau (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), "the vital interests of France, today, are Europe", he estimated on LCI: "There may be circumstances in which a French government, French leaders decide that a threat to Europe is a threat against France. And that’s what the President of the Republic is saying when he says “let’s put everything on the table”. »

“Imagine a mortal threat to Germany. Do you think we would be safe? Do you believe that our vital interests would not be affected by a threat of this order? And so yes, it is normal that we talk about it,” added Mr. Bayrou on Sunday morning.