Fillon is doing his darndest to channel Charles de Gaulle
The French presidential candidate Francois Fillon who currently leads in the polls met with Merkel last week in Berlin. The most interesting aspect of his trip however, was the interview he gave to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
In it he lay out a hardline Gaullist foreign policy not seen in Paris since the general himself ran the place. Fillon proposes no less than Germany and France join forces against Trump's United States.
Characterizing Trump's rhetoric as "aggressive" he points out France and Germany nonetheless do not need to "play by America's rules" if they can coordinate a European response.
Fillon wants a new European military alliance distinct from NATO.
He wants a "European Monetary Fund" to counter-balance the US-dominated IMF and build up the euro as a real challenger to the dollar.
He wants to work with Russia to resolve the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine -- which he argues NATO countries played a role in fueling -- peacefully. He wants to rebuild Moscow relations and restart banned commerce.
He also wants a common Eurozone treasury and unified taxation policies.
World Socialist Web Site has more:
In a long interview jointly conducted by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and French newspaper Le Monde the day before the Berlin meeting, Fillon described Trump as a threat to Europe: “Europe has been warned. It must organise itself in the face of an American policy that will do us no favours. This means more than ever European initiatives. What Trump has announced began before Trump.”
Fillon pointed to multi-billion-euro fines imposed by US financial authorities on Germany’s Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas in France.
Fillon also called for closer ties between Germany, France and Russia, based on finding a settlement of US-instigated wars in Syria and Ukraine. Washington and the European powers led a bloody proxy war for regime change against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad starting in 2011, and installed an anti-Russian Ukraine regime in a fascist-led coup in Kiev in 2014. Fillon made clear that he sees these interventions as mistaken and based on deception by the NATO powers, including France.
Russia, he said, “is an immense country that one can’t treat lightly, it’s a country without a democratic tradition that has nuclear weapons. … Who can reasonably want to enter in conflict with Russia?” Asked whether Putin is a reliable partner, he replied: “Was the West always reliable? Did it never mislead the Russians about [the war in] Libya, Kosovo, on economic partnership with the EU? Russia has a lot to answer for, but it is not the only one.”
Calling France’s alliance with Germany “fundamental,” and denouncing Hollande for having initially sought the “encircling” of Germany in the initial years of his presidency, Fillon called for the “reinforcing” of the Franco-German alliance. However, he also insisted that this alliance be a “partnership between equals,” despite France’s “economic weakness and lack of structural reforms.”
Fillon outlined proposals for an economic government in the Eurozone, lead by Paris and Berlin. “I propose to first of all revive the Eurozone”, stated Fillon, by setting a “harmonised programme of tax... on businesses”. Fillon also proposed to lessen the supremacy of the dollar in the world economy and “make the euro an international reserve currency”, by creating a European Monetary Fond as a potential counterweight to the International Monetary Fund.