“Lies, duplicity, serious crisis”: Paris does not take off in the submarine affair

The French ambassador to Australia is leaving Canberra, the man and his suitcase are the symbol of a tarnished relationship between this country and Paris. The French government does not take offense after the Australian decision to give up buying the submarines ordered from France, and to conclude a new agreement with the United States.

Yesterday, Australian Finance Minister Simon Birmingham reiterated that his country had informed Paris “at the earliest possible opportunity, before the matter became public”.

“It’s very symbolic, commented Jean-Yves Le Drian, head of French diplomacy. There has been a lie, there has been duplicity, there has been a major breach of trust, there has been contempt so things are not right between us. There is a crisis. At this moment there is first a symbolic aspect. We call back our ambassadors to try to understand, to show our former partners that there really is a serious crisis between us. “

Australia’s about-face

Australia defends itself by asserting that the agreement with France exceeded the initial budget and was years behind schedule. The “contract of the century” for 12 submarines was signed for 56 billion euros in 2016.

But Washington, Canberra and London announced Wednesday a strategic partnership to counter China, AUKUS, including the supply of American submarines.


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