President Macron has hit back at Donald Trump’s fierce Twitter attack on his call for a “real European army” by laconic: “To be an ally is not to be a vassal”.
Despite the impressive exchange with undiplomatic missives on Twitter, Emmanuel Macron insisted there was no tension between France and America. The real European army is still a good idea, but Frace and the US used to be the good partners over decades. In his interview from France’s nuclear aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle, Mr Macron said: “Between allies, we owe each other respect and I don’t want to hear the rest,” however, ‘To be an ally is not to be a vassal’.
Last weekend, prior to joining other world leaders in Paris attending centenary commemorations of the Armistice, Donald Trump issued a flurry of rude messages on Twitter. the US President mocked his French counterpart’s low approval ratings and threatened a trade war with France over wine tariffs.
“Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia,” tweeted Mr Trump later and added the most undiplomatic invective: “But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!”
Macron, Trump, and the idea of the real European army
After the exchange of the points of view between Macron and Trump last weekend, a senior French politician said at the time that the US leader took Macron’s words out “out of context”. According to the French official, the French leader did not mean he wanted a totally new European army but better coordination and funding of EU already-existing resources. So far, the NATO funding issue remains painful for France and Germany.