Forget Germany! EU alliance collapses as Macron rival says France should shun Berlin

Macron outlines ambition for France to be a ‘framework nation’

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The far-right leader, who was re-elected as chief of her party earlier this month, tore apart “the German policy” led by President Macron since he was elected in 2017. She is gearing up for next year’s presidential election which will see her attempt to unseat the centrist president in April.

In a column published in French daily newspaper L’Opinion, Ms Le Pen laid out her geopolitical vision.

She also took the opportunity to criticise Mr Macron’s strategy which she said had been too closely aligned with Berlin.

She claimed “the German policy” adopted by the French leader “has become a great illusion shattered in contact with German realities”.

She said the alliance with their German neighbours has brought the French nothing on the diplomatic and military level apart from “disillusions, betrayals and abandonment.”

She said: “The first illusion was to believe that Germany could detach itself from the United States in favour of a European defence” while “Berlin only thinks of NATO.”

She added: “Berlin will always adopt its own policy: unite the countries of Mitteleuropa (Central Europe) against a Russia which, ally or adversary, is always present in its calculations.”

She claimed: “In NATO, in the EU, in certain conflicts, in drones, space, combat aviation, land systems,” Germany wants to “participate first, then impose itself, and finally lead”.

Ms Le Pen said France will have to look further afield for new partnerships because “the alliance with Germany offers no interest”.

She suggested Paris could look across the Channel for a new alliance with the Brits “with whom it shares a similar diplomatic and nuclear status”.

And she also said France would do well to strengthen its ties with the Americans “to renegotiate an alliance treaty focused on the challenges of the Indo-Pacific and space”.

Her National Rally party suffered humiliation in regional elections last month, failing to gain control of a single region.

The dismal performance prompted questions about whether Ms Le Pen’s career was over.

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But the answer from party members this month was a resounding “no” as they re-elected her as leader.

Polls have put Ms Le Pen and Mr Macron neck and neck in the first round of the presidential election next year.

But research shows Mr Macron is on track to win a run-off, just like he did in 2017.

This week the president announced plans to tighten Covid measures in a bid to stamp out the virus.

He said from September all healthcare workers must be inoculated or face consequences.

And he warned any unvaccinated citizens would face restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the Delta variant.

This prompted hundreds of thousands of people to rush to book vaccine appointments.

Stanislas Niox-Chateau, who heads Doctolib, one of the country’s biggest online websites used to book vaccine appointments, told RMC radio there were record numbers seeking vaccines after the president’s announcement.

In nearly 24 hours, some 1.7 million vaccine appointments had been booked through Doctolib, the website said.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.

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