/ 02 November 2021

Liar liar Franco-Oz relationship on fire

Image source: PMO
Image source: PMO

It’s not every day that world leaders slog it out while attending consecutive international summits… It’s even more unusual when Australia is one of those parties, but the France v Oz saga has continued to play out overnight. PM Scott Morrison has strongly rejected French President Emmanuel Macron’s assertion that he was lied to about the cancellation of French company Naval Group’s $90 billion submarine contract. Morrison says he will not allow Australia to be “sledged”.

Well, Morrison says text messages might shed some light on things. In June, the pair spent time together in private as Morrison swung through Paris to see Macron. At a dinner during that visit, scuttling the French company’s contract to build subs was raised, and Macron told Morrison “I don’t like losing“, reports say. Overnight, it was revealed that Macron texted Morrison 2 days before the AUKUS announcement asking if there would be good or bad news, but the French leader would not take the Australian leader’s call to discuss it.

Many have pointed out that voting in France’s presidential election starts in April next year, and that’s why Macron is going all out to defend France, his government and himself. Morrison is also facing an election in the coming months, and there are 2 prevailing views about how this plays out for him at home. To supporters, Morrison is seen as putting Australia’s interests first, no matter the blowback. Meanwhile, his critics say it shows he’s shifty, and his judgement on the world stage sucks. That’s all ahead, but for the next 2 days, Morrison and Macron have the COP26 World Leaders Summit in Glasgow to get through. Stay tuned…

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