Emmanuel Macron has turned to Greece in a bid to bounce make from the humiliation that was France’s exclusion from the AUKUS alliance. Britain, the US, and Australia announced the pact earlier this month as part of a wider strategy for combating China. Under the AUKUS agreement, Australia also opted to ditch a deal with France for a new fleet of submarines, Paris has since turned to the Greek Navy under an agreement to sell off a fleet of frigates.
France24 presenter Annette Young reported: “Greece has signed a deal with France to build three new frigates as Paris seeks to bounce back from the loss of that big submarine contract with Australia.
“The strategic defence and security cooperation pact signed by the leaders of both countries is also part of efforts to increase European military autonomy.
“Under the agreement, Athens also has the option to buy a fourth frigate from Paris.”
It comes as the French President called on EU countries to stop being “nieve” on the issue of defence.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, President Macron said: “European’s must stop being nieve when we are feeling increased pressure from foreign powers to react.
He also called on European countries to “show we have the power and capacity to defend ourselves doesn’t meet escalating tensions.”
“It is simply a way to gain respect.”
The Franco-Greek deal has come amid reports that Australia has been forced to deploy counsellors to help ‘terribly upset’ aides amid the breakdown of the deal to supply submarines to the French Navy.
“Look I get the fact if you have been working on a project for years and suddenly the rug is pulled out from under you.
“You shouldn’t have been working on that damn project from the start,” she added.
“And if you were one of the dudes, the fools who signed up for it that you know I don’t have much sympathy for you.
“Whoever is making decisions, the purchasing decisions, the contract decisions in Defence needs to be sacked.”