DHe broke the submarine agreement between France and Australia continues to warm the mind. After French President Emmanuel Macron accused Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison of lying when asked by a journalist, the latter brusquely rejected the “insults” against Australia. He himself had broad shoulders to accept criticism, Morrison said during a press conference during the UN conference on climate change in Glasgow. “But these insults … I will not tolerate abuse from Australia,” Morrison said.
Macron had explicitly excluded the country in his statement on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Rome and directed his criticism directly at Morrison. “I have a lot of respect for his country, I have a lot of respect and friendship for his people,” Macron told reporters in Australia, according to video recordings. “But I have to say that if you respect each other, then you have to be honest and behave in a way that is consistent with that value.” In response to this statement, the journalist asked if Macron believed that he had been lied to. for Morrison. “I don’t think so, I know,” replied the president.
“We did not steal an island”
The clip only lasts a little over half a minute. In Australia’s capital Canberra, it’s still causing a stir. Some political allies have sided with Morrison. Finance Minister Josh Frydenberg criticized Macron’s “extraordinary choice of language.” Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who heads the government in Morrison’s absence, recommended to Macron that he finally get over the broken submarine deal. “We didn’t steal an island, we didn’t deface the Eiffel Tower, it was a contract,” Joyce said. This corresponds to the opinion of some Australians, to whom the anger of the French seems excessive.
In September, Paris reacted furiously to the failed arms deal and the new AUKUS pact between the United States, Australia and Britain, and even withdrew its ambassadors from Canberra and Washington. Macron and US President Joe Biden spoke on the phone relatively early at the time and the French ambassador was allowed to return to Washington. France’s anger over Australia runs deeper. French Ambassador Jean-Pierre Thebault did not return to Canberra until mid-October. Morrison and Macron only spoke on the phone last week. In the phone call, the French side called for “concrete measures” from Australia to “redefine” relations.
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