The grand-sounding rhetoric, brimming with imperial ambition, was recently voiced by the French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire during an interaction with Germany’s leading business daily Handelsblatt.
This is while the French and German economies were flat lining because of high taxes and anti-business policies.
Le Maire defined Le Maire’s vision of the European grouping as “a peaceful empire.” He elaborated by saying that in the fast-changing dynamics of world polity and aggressive military posturing, Europe cannot be undermined as a second or third fiddle. The continent should rise up as a singular force and emphasize its power forcefully.
The other major countries in the EU including Germany remain opposed to the idea of a European empire being resurrected on an outdated imperial ideology, though. In that context, Le Maire almost sounded like the modern day Napoleon!
He talked about the new world order being based on power – the power of politics, technology, economy, military, and nonetheless, cultural power, to establish global supremacy. Europe cannot afford to shy away from this race for world supremacy, and must regroup as a formidable force, Le Maire said.
Does this mean America can finally pull its troops out of Europe?
Macron’s Grand Rhetoric Revisited
It almost seemed like Le Maire was echoing The French President Emmanuel Macron’s clarion call for a grand European alliance to fight the US, Chinese, and Russian ambition of world domination. Macron has repeatedly positioned Europe as a global force in the power equilibrium.
Does this mean Europe will stop buying natural gas from Russia?
Carrying forward Macron’s rhetoric, Le Maire announced that the time had come to migrate from talking to acting. There were important decisions to be made, and they will be made during the meeting of the economy and finance ministers of other EU countries, he said.
As if representing the popular European voice, which he certainly is not, Le Maire said that there was enough of the “babble from Brussels” and now it was time for action.
This purported action, obviously, is to give a tangible form to the idea of a resurrected “European empire,” as envisioned by today’s Napoleon Le Maire!
Meanwhile, Macron’s ambitious plans of a grand European military force have been ridiculed by the US President Donald Trump. Rebutting Macron’s clarion call as “insulting,” Trump has tweeted that France should first fulfill its commitment towards NATO before beginning to dream of a larger European congregation.
However, despite Trump’s vehement opposition, Le Maire has continued to propagate his vision. Citing the recent US sanctions against Iran (so Le Maire is siding with a country that is allied with Russia and who sponsors terrorism?) and Trump’s subsequent dictate to nations not to do business with Iran, he said that rather than succumbing to such one-sided dictates, a united Europe should fight them and establish its own voice in the world theater.
Does this mean Le Maire will actually invest more in its military? So Le Maire trusts Iran more than America when America saved France from the Germans in WWII?
It may be noted that to deal with the US diktat, EU had to create a special purpose vehicle to let member countries deal with Iran, in the wake of US sanctions. Le Maire perceived this as a weakness and rather than capitulating, he called for a forceful, united Europe capable of stopping the US from issuing such unilateral resolutions.
This is at the same time when the EU is struggling because of the socialistic policies that has brought Italy, Greece, and Germany to its knees.