EU army plans in tatters as Franco-Greece defence deal sparks ‘deep divide’ inside bloc

EU has a ‘sense of fracturing’ says Vivienne Walt

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Germany is “not on board” with the recent £5bn Franco-Greek defence pact amid growing “fractures” in the EU. Vivienne Walt, from Time Magazine, told France24 that Brussels “is not behind” Emmanuel Macron’s deal with Athens. The deal will see Greece buy three French frigates, with an option for a fourth, and Rafale fighter jets.

The pact was hailed by the Greek prime minister as “a first step towards European defence autonomy”.

However, the EU has remained silent on the agreement.

Ms Walt told France24: “It is a tiny arms deal when compared to what was planned with the Australians.

“It is three billion euros, compared to nearly sixty billion euros.”

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She continued: “What is disturbing is that this isn’t about Europe. It’s about France and Greece.

“You don’t really have the EU behind this.

“There is a deep divide within the EU in confronting Turkey.

“You don’t have the Germans on board.

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“After the debacle of AUKUS, you have this sense of fracturing in Europe.

“There are these private alliances going on.”

However, there is also a suggestion of a backlash within Greece too.

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France24 reporter Nathalie Savaricas, in Athens, said: “Ordinary Greeks are asking why the Government is giving seven billion euros to France when we have so many other priorities to deal with?”

The pact is set to drag France into conflict with Turkey, as the pact sees Paris “fully back” Greek territorial claims which are disputed by Turkey and have been the cause of rising tensions in recent months.

Germany, which relies on Turkey to control migration and has sold Ankara diesel-electric submarines, is said to be unhappy.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said: “Greece’s policy of armament, isolating and alienating Turkey is a problematic policy which will cause harm to itself and the European Union, and threaten regional peace and stability.”

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