ANGELA MERKEL sparked fury in France after her government agreed to buy US maritime patrol aircraft for €1.1 billion (£950 million).
The German Chancellor‘s defence team will purchase five Boeing (BA.N) P-8A maritime patrol aircraft, it has been announced. Following approval from the parliamentary budget committee, the contract will now be signed, the ministry as Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said as she visited her counterpart in the United States.
The “interim” deal with the US, however, has sparked outrage in France as it could have damaging repercussions for Franco-German Maritime Airborne Warfare System (MAWS) programme.
Sharing the news on Twitter, Les Patriotes leader Florian Philippot blasted Germany’s “humiliating” decision.
Posting an article by French daily La Tribune titled “Maritime patrol planes: how Germany rolled France in the flour”, Mr Philippot tweeted: “Maritime patrol planes: Germany makes France believe that it wants cooperation but in fact buys American equipment!
“Florence Parly, the Minister of the Armed Forces, says it has fallen from the clouds!
“We are stripped and humiliated!
The La Tribune article read: “After the Franco-German tactical missile MAST-F intended to arm the German and French Tiger helicopters, Berlin has apparently definitely torpedoed a second programme in cooperation between France and Germany, however validated in July 2017 by the Chancellor. Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron.”
Announcing the deal, Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer said: “This procurement, with a volume of around 1.1 billion euros (£950 million), serves the urgent need to maintain a capability for long-range maritime reconnaissance and airborne submarine hunting.