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Gabriel Attal in Berlin to try to revive the Franco-German couple

After the consideration of the vote of no confidence this Monday morning at 10 am in the National Assembly, Gabriel Attal will fly to Berlin. On this first foreign trip since his appointment on January 9, the French prime minister is expected to have a wide-ranging conversation with Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Berlin said the meeting would cover all “bilateral, European and international” topics, as well as economic policy issues.

And there is no shortage of files. After speaking to the French public at the French Embassy, ​​Gabriel Attal will be received with military honors at 18:00 at the German Chancellery, where he will have a one-on-one meeting with Olaf Schlotz: decarbonized hydrogen, enlargement of the European Union, the agricultural crisis, the rise of the far right and European elections…

During his appointment, Olaf Scholz congratulated Gabriel Attal, hoping for the “continuation and strengthening” of cooperation between the two countries. Gabriel Attal responded that “an increasingly united France and Germany is a Europe that is growing stronger and moving forward.”

Stubborn points of divergence

The fact remains that the Franco-German couple is currently leaning towards a marriage of convenience rather than a passionate romance. At the end of a seminar between the two governments in October in Hamburg, participants acknowledged that the Franco-German pairing was not in the best shape, while demonstrating determination to get it back on track, including on energy issues and the electricity market on which electricity bills depend households and businesses in Europe.

The fact remains that some divisions remain firmly entrenched. The war in Ukraine has revealed the two countries’ different views on aid. Olaf Scholz advocates increasing it at a time when new Western promises to help Kyiv have slowed sharply amid political disagreements. They have even fallen to their lowest level since the Russian invasion began, the German research institute Kiel Institute calculated in early December. And in this case, Paris is accused of not doing enough, in particular by not delivering combat aircraft, although French military support for Ukraine amounts to 3.2 billion euros, according to a parliamentary report published in November.

On the other hand, Gabriel Attal and Olaf Scholz should discuss the agricultural crisis that affects their two countries. While Paris opposes the controversial draft trade agreement between the European Union and Latin American Mercosur countries, Germany, which relies on exports, remains favorable to it.

Another point of tension is the issue of energy instead of nuclear power and the electricity market on which the electricity bills of households and businesses in Europe depend.

Source: Le Parisien

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