Greece, Europe without a voice

This is the news of the week: Greece has bought eighteen Rafale planes from us, with the aim of responding to the boasting of Turkey, which is playing its kingpin in the Aegean Sea. On the industrial level, there is cause for celebration. Even if it seems that part of this purchase will consist of planes that have already flown for French aviation, it is a breath of fresh air for Dassault who, due to the Covid crisis, had some concerns about his logbook. orders, and planned to negotiate with the state to obtain some subsidies to support its activity. Cocorico, therefore, for this first order from an EU country for the flagship of our national aeronautical industry.

→ READ. Rafale orders by Greece: good news for the aeronautics industry

Well, believe it or not, I, the staunch patriot, the convinced European, I remain doubtful. Not that I think we should avoid showing our teeth in the eastern Mediterranean; I am not naive, and I am well aware that Turkey’s aggressiveness requires a firm response. The signing of this contract is one of the strong signs that could show that we Europeans will not let ourselves be trodden on.

Yet Greece! The same Greece that we pointed out not so long ago, that we pilloried for the mismanagement of its national budget, that Germany and ourselves have almost brought to their knees by demanding the greatest rigor in this area, and whose inhabitants have suffered so cruelly from the diktat, dare we say it, imposed by Berlin and Paris. Greece will spend a few billion euros to buy fighter jets, while it struggles to ensure the payment of pensions for its citizens, that its health system is ruined, and that its social organization has been severely torpedoed by drastic economic measures. Greece is arming itself, but does it really have the means? Of course, I can imagine that all the possibilities of financing will be offered to it, and that our country will ensure both to be paid and to give the Greeks the capacities of their ambitions. However, I am wondering about this operation which will put a strain on an already severely tight budget, to the detriment, no doubt, of the population.

If there is to be Europe, I wonder to what extent the necessary solidarity between EU Member States could not have played out in another way, in a more visible way than a purchase of this type. Collective banging of the fist on the table, perhaps deploying a few more ships in the Aegean Sea, in short, form a united front. On second thought, this sale of a few Rafales to Greece sounds more like a failure than a victory. The repeated failure of a Europe which struggles to speak with one voice, the failure of a European diplomacy which exists only through the incarnation of Josep Borrell, “the Union’s high representative for foreign affairs and foreign policy. security ”, whose activity is not the most audible, to say the least. In its defense, none of the Member States, despite the institutional commitments which created this post, is prepared to delegate all or part of its powers in this area to it. The chancelleries continue their work in dispersed order, too often in the greatest confusion, without Josep Borrell being able to do much about it.

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In these times of pandemic, I discovered once again that I, too, am sick, sick of a Europe that never stops dividing, each trying to advance its pawns to beat the adversary. , be he a partner, an ally, a friend. Yes, we have sold eighteen Rafales, yes, we have played a good game, yes, it will support our national industry, which is in dire need of it. But where is the ideal? Where is this European dream of greatness? We, whose global economic power is formidable, what is our voice? How far does it carry? I fear that it is not very audible in Ankara, as it is not in Washington or Beijing either.

And we, French, who nod with a satisfied air, what about our leadership? It may be said that I am bitter or too idealistic. I believe in it, however; I am inhabited by the fantasy of a powerful Europe, united by unbreakable bonds that neither the economy nor the will to make money would corrupt. So, I forcefully proclaim it, not even a Rafale can make me change my mind. We do not sacrifice an ideal for a few billion euros, we do not sacrifice an ideal on the altar of the Golden Calf.

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