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France's Macron says defense chief has no choice but to agree with him: JDD

Discussion in 'Europe & Russia' started by Vergennes, Jul 16, 2017 at 2:39 PM.

  1. Vergennes

    Vergennes Strategist Staff Member MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron said his defense chief has no choice but to agree with what he says, a weekly newspaper reported on Sunday, after his top general criticized spending cuts to this year's budget.

    "If something opposes the military chief of staff and the president, the military chief of staff goes," Macron, who as president is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, told Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD).

    Macron said on Thursday that he would not tolerate public dissent from the military after General Pierre de Villiers reportedly told a parliament committee he would not let the government "f*ck with" him on spending cuts.

    De Villiers still has Macron's "full trust," the president told JDD, provided the top general "knows the chain of command and how it works."

    "No one deserves to be blindly followed," De Villiers wrote in a message posted on his Facebook page on Friday.

    De Villiers' last Facebook post is an open letter addressed to new military recruits that makes no mention of Macron. But it was perceived by French media as targeting the president's earlier comments.

    De Villiers and Macron are scheduled to meet next Friday afternoon, according to the president's official agenda.

    The French government trimmed the 2017 defense budget to ensure France meets its commitment to bring its budget deficit below the European Union cap of 3 percent of national income in 2017.

    De Villiers, whose mandate as the military chief of staff was extended by a year on Wednesday by the new defense minister, criticized at a parliamentary committee hearing on the same day the 850-million-euro ($975 million) cut in this year's budget.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-defence-idUSKBN1A00TE
     
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  2. Vergennes

    Vergennes Strategist Staff Member MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    The current crisis between the President and the chief of staff is an unprecedented situation in recent French history.

    The military is quietly angry with the President for publicly humiliating the chief of staff,who was angered after the government announced €850 million of cuts to this year's defence budget as part of a government plan to keep the deficit below the 3% of the GDP this year.

    Defence representing less than 9% of the general budget will represent 20% of the government cuts. Just to compare,education with a budget of nearly €100 billion will only be cut by €75 million.

    This announcement also angered many MPs from the Presidential majority and from other parties.

    Despite announcing €1,5 billion more for defence in 2018,this doesn't seem to have appeased the spirits.

    PS : Overall public spending represents more than €1,250 billion and France is the first country among the industrialized ones when it comes to public spending as % of the GDP. Surely they couldn't have easily found savings elsewhere ?
     
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  3. randomradio

    randomradio Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    I think Europe should outsource healthcare to India. Save a lot of money there. :D
     
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  4. BMD

    BMD Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Macron's an Obama in disguise. Copious amounts of charm hiding a complete cunt underneath.
     
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  5. Vergennes

    Vergennes Strategist Staff Member MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    BREAKING NEWS : Pierre de Villiers,Chief of Staff of the armed forces has announced to resign.

    z1.jpg

    De Villiers and Macron were due to see each others this friday.

    This is an unprecedented event in the history of the fifth Republic. Looks like a cataclysm to me.
     
  6. sunstersun

    sunstersun 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Are you serious? Villiers is well respected in the military.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017 at 1:45 PM
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  7. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate Staff Member MODERATOR

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    RIP Logic!!!

    Good, soon you can outsource your (French) security to China (?) or Russia :D

    But we have similar trends in India too ... so simply trolling here :biggthumpup:
     
  8. Vergennes

    Vergennes Strategist Staff Member MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    randomradio and Sancho like this.
  9. Vergennes

    Vergennes Strategist Staff Member MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Macron seeks to repair damage after army chief quit

    [​IMG]
    French President Emmanuel Macron (R) visits the BA 125 French Air Force base in Istres on Jul 20, 2017. (Photo: Arnold Jerocki/Pool/AFP)


    ISTRES: French President Emmanuel Macron was to address troops at an air base on Thursday (Jul 20) as he sought to repair the damage following the resignation of a highly-regarded military chief who challenged the government's budget cuts.

    Macron flew to the base in Istres, southern France, a day after General Pierre de Villiers quit in the wake of a row over the government's plans to slash €850 million (US$980 million) from his budget.

    De Villiers stepped aside after being publicly slapped down by Macron in front of the troops for telling a parliamentary committee he would not allow the armed forces to be "screwed".

    The 39-year-old president's handling of the dispute with the 60-year-old general was widely criticised by his opponents and the press as heavy-handed.

    Macron, who last week told the armed forces "I am your boss", stood his ground after de Villiers' departure, saying "it is not the job of the head of the armed forces" to question the budget.

    The president also stood by his pledge to raise the defence budget again in 2018, saying: "I'm behind our troops."


    In a sign of his popularity with the rank and file, staff at the defence ministry gave de Villiers a rousing sendoff as he left for the last time on Wednesday, forming a guard of honour amid rapturous applause.

    The video of his departure was posted on the official Twitter account of the chiefs of staff with the message: "Thank you".

    In his resignation statement, the general said he had no choice but to step aside in the face of the planned cuts.

    "I no longer feel able to ensure the sustainability of the model of the armed forces that I think is necessary to guarantee the protection of France and the French people," he said.

    General Francois Lecointre, a 55-year-old hero of the wars in the Balkans, was named as de Villiers's replacement. He accompanied Macron to the airbase on Thursday.

    'SHOT SELF IN FOOT'

    The French press held Macron chiefly responsible for the dispute, which many commentators saw as the first misstep of his two-month-old presidency.

    The conservative Le Figaro daily accused the president of "shooting himself in the foot" in behaving "like a little departmental head who is obliged to remind everyone who's boss".

    The leftist Liberation newspaper said Macron's "little authoritarian fit" could be a sign he was drunk on power and said he was time for the youthful leader "to grow up a bit".

    Macron's defence cuts - part of a €4.5-billion reduction in spending aimed at reducing France's budget deficit - were viewed by the military as a betrayal after his strong show of support for the armed forces during his first weeks in office.

    ACTION MAN

    Macron's first foreign trip was to Mali, where he meet French troops engaged in counter-terrorism operations.

    Earlier this month, he was photographed being winched action man-style onto a nuclear submarine from a helicopter.

    The president's office said he would use the speech at the air base to "reiterate his support for the armed forces, reminding them of his campaign pledge to increase the defence budget as well as his ambitious plans for them in a difficult international environment".

    Seen as one of the finest officers of his generation, de Villiers's departure triggered howls of indignation from the opposition.

    Retired general Dominique Trinquand, who advised Macron during his election campaign, said the row had cast a pall over his otherwise "remarkable" debut. "This is a hitch that will probably be a bit difficult to get past," he told AFP.

    Nuclear-armed France and Britain are the biggest military powers in the European Union.

    French forces are currently taking part in strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq and 4,000 French soldiers are involved in counter-terrorism efforts in west and central Africa.

    And at home, 7,000 soldiers are deployed to patrol the streets after a series of terror attacks that have killed more than 230 people since 2015.

    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news...o-repair-damage-after-army-chief-quit-9049010
     
  10. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy Major Technical Analyst

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    General Pierre de Villiers- what a man! Stuck to his principles and put his men first, you won't find many career officers willing to do this anyhwere in the world these days.
     

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