Macron and Merkel want their army, divided EU in sightStaff Writer | January 22, 2019
Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel faced a backlash as they launched their latest attempt to divide the European Union and create a bloc army.
Europe Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel
But the pair faced furious protests from the so-called Yellow Vest movement, who have blighted Mr Macron’s leadership of France in recent weeks. The extension to the Elysee Treaty, which affirmed the two nations’ post-war reconciliation in 1963, was signed at a ceremony in the German border city of Aachen.
Merkel said the Franco-German treaty will act at the first step towards a “European army”, in her speech in the coronation room of Aachen town hall.
She added the treaty reinforces the "foundation of cooperation between our countries".
"Seventy-four years, a single human lifetime, after the end of World War II, what seems self-evident is being called into question again.
"That's why, first of all, there needs to be a new commitment toward our responsibility within the European Union, a responsibility held by Germany and France."
Mr Macron hit out at those "spreading lies" about the treaty.
He said: "Those who forget the value of French-German reconciliation are making themselves accomplices of the crimes of the past.
"Those who spread lies are hurting the same people they are pretending to defend by seeking to repeat our history."
Alexander Gauland, leader in parliament of the Alternative for Germany, said: “French President Macron cannot maintain order in his own country. The nationwide protests in France are never ending. So it is inappropriate, if this failing president imposes visions on us for the future of Germany."
He added: "The EU is now deeply divided. A German-French special relationship will alienate us even further from the other Europeans."
The leader of France's National Rally, Marine Le Pen, accused Mr Macron of "an act that borders on treason". ■