AVN 65.31 Decreased By ▼ -0.86 (-1.3%)
BAFL 30.25 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
BOP 4.63 Decreased By ▼ -0.10 (-2.11%)
CNERGY 3.89 Decreased By ▼ -0.12 (-2.99%)
DFML 13.50 Decreased By ▼ -0.60 (-4.26%)
DGKC 42.15 Decreased By ▼ -1.54 (-3.52%)
EPCL 46.13 Increased By ▲ 1.48 (3.31%)
FCCL 11.45 Decreased By ▼ -0.38 (-3.21%)
FFL 5.19 Increased By ▲ 0.22 (4.43%)
FLYNG 5.82 Decreased By ▼ -0.28 (-4.59%)
GGL 10.04 Decreased By ▼ -0.34 (-3.28%)
HUBC 63.21 Increased By ▲ 0.91 (1.46%)
HUMNL 5.73 Decreased By ▼ -0.12 (-2.05%)
KAPCO 27.81 Increased By ▲ 0.26 (0.94%)
KEL 2.15 Decreased By ▼ -0.06 (-2.71%)
LOTCHEM 25.37 Decreased By ▼ -1.23 (-4.62%)
MLCF 21.65 Decreased By ▼ -0.87 (-3.86%)
NETSOL 84.95 Decreased By ▼ -1.25 (-1.45%)
OGDC 86.64 Increased By ▲ 0.37 (0.43%)
PAEL 10.96 Decreased By ▼ -0.31 (-2.75%)
PIBTL 4.21 Decreased By ▼ -0.07 (-1.64%)
PPL 78.65 Decreased By ▼ -1.43 (-1.79%)
PRL 13.61 Decreased By ▼ -0.05 (-0.37%)
SILK 0.88 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-2.22%)
SNGP 41.00 Decreased By ▼ -0.75 (-1.8%)
TELE 6.01 Decreased By ▼ -0.20 (-3.22%)
TPLP 16.02 Decreased By ▼ -0.25 (-1.54%)
TRG 111.89 Decreased By ▼ -0.66 (-0.59%)
UNITY 14.01 Decreased By ▼ -0.34 (-2.37%)
WTL 1.14 Decreased By ▼ -0.06 (-5%)
BR100 4,026 Decreased By -48.6 (-1.19%)
BR30 14,402 Decreased By -123 (-0.85%)
KSE100 40,451 Decreased By -396 (-0.97%)
KSE30 15,110 Decreased By -101.7 (-0.67%)
Follow us

When Germany unveiled a 200 billion euro ($200 billion) package to shield its industry and consumers from soaring energy prices, its government failed to notify neighbouring France beforehand, leaving French President Emmanuel Macron seething in private.

“We learnt about it in the press. That’s not the done thing,” a senior French official said.

German officials had visited the Elysée palace days earlier and said nothing about the package Paris believes hands an unfair advantage to German companies and threatens the European Union’s single market.

The number of issues on which France and Germany - the EU’s two richest and most influential members - are at odds is growing, from the bloc’s defence strategy to its response to the energy crisis, relations with China and even fiscal policy.

The standoff comes as the EU struggles to reach an agreement on whether to cap gas prices in response to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

It is also impacting Europe’s plans to build its next generation of fighter jets, gas pipeline projects across the EU, German plans to let China invest in its ports.

Macron’s decision last week to postpone a joint cabinet meeting underlined the French president’s frustration. Berlin blamed logistical difficulties and played down the rift.

To be sure, the Franco-German couple have had their ups and downs before and divorce has never ensued.

But Europe can ill afford a breakdown in relations that weakens EU unity as it firefights multiple crises: Russia’s war on its eastern fringe, spiralling inflation and its biggest economies teetering on the brink of recession.

“The goal is to make Berlin understand there’s a problem,” the senior French official said.

But beyond the different dossiers that have been the bane of French and German diplomats for years, a clash of personalities, rivalry for European leadership and wider strategic differences are now bursting out into the open, despite efforts to maintain a facade of unity, French and German sources say.

Macron has found it disconcerting that Scholz shows little interest in investing personal time with his French counterpart, unlike his predecessor, Angela Merkel, and has instead cultivated links with the leaders of Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands.

“Macron and Merkel exchanged texts every single day. Scholz doesn’t talk to Macron every day. We even struggled to get them to meet in person,” the French official said. Beyond the lack of personal chemistry between the modest German leader and the more flamboyant French president, diplomats say the two leaders are at odds over the strategic lessons to be learned from the war in Ukraine.

After warning Germany in vain over the risk of an over-dependence on Russia for its gas, Macron feels vindicated in his push to strengthen European self-reliance, from energy to defence and trade, French officials say.

Scholz’s decision therefore to allow a Chinese company to buy a stake in its largest port and pursue what the French say is a short-sighted mercantilist policy towards China has baffled Paris.

“They still haven’t learnt their lesson,” another French official said.

German officials say that they are aware they need to reduce their reliance on China, but they add that this should not mean banning all Chinese investment in Europe.

On defence, the decision by Berlin to launch a European air defence system with 14 countries including Britain but not France - the EU’s most prominent military power - was the last straw, French officials said.—Reuters


Comments are closed.

Behind facade of unity, Franco-German relations falter as crises mount

‘Plan C conspiracy’ Irked by allegation, PPP says will send legal notice to IK

LPG hits historic high of Rs300/kg: LPGA demands setting up of probe commission

50pc duty imposed on import of ‘Mild Hybrid Vehicles’

Al-Nahyan due tomorrow to discuss trade, investment

Flood-hit areas: Rs8.39bn subsidy to be provided to farmers

Pakistan expresses interest in possibility of currency swap with Russia

FBR readies presentation for IMF

Italy’s Meloni in Libya to conclude $8bn gas deal

Ogra rejects oil price speculations

Live debate on economy: Tarin accepts challenge