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Macron Prioritises Ukraine Despite Downgraded Economic Recovery Outlook In 2024

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Macron Prioritises Ukraine Despite Downgraded Economic Recovery Outlook In 2024

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Written by Ahmed Adel, Cairo-based geopolitics and political economy researcher

Bleak economic prospects further hurt France’s fragile economy, but President Emmanuel Macron still insists on prioritising assistance for Ukraine and pursuing anti-Russia agendas rather than dealing with the ever-increasing problems in his own country.

French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire reduced the country’s economic growth forecast to 1% in 2024 and announced that the Macron government would cut spending, estimated to be about €10 billion, in all ministries and in some programs to compensate for the drop in productivity and to meet obligations to reduce France’s budget deficit by 4.4% in 2024.

“The principle of responsibility is to act at the right time with rigour, but without brutality, to maintain control of our public finances, deficits and debts,” said Le Maire in an interview with channel TF1 on February 18.

“I am committed to not increasing taxes…We have cut them and won’t deviate from this line. French people can’t bear any more tax,” he added.

As France’s economic outlook worsened, Macron tried to improve finances by introducing unpopular labour reforms and without resorting to austerity or tax increases, but spending soared amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the energy crisis instigated following sanctions on Russia after the country’s launch of the special military operation on Ukraine in February 2022.

France’s public debt has risen from €1 trillion in 2003 to €3 trillion in 2023, with most of this increase occurring under Macron’s leadership. At the same time, debt servicing costs have soared due to inflation. Although the French government has already cut €16 billion in an attempt to reduce its deficit from 4.9% in 2023 to 4.4% of economic production this year, Macron is in a dilemma as he only has unpopular options to try and improve the country’s current economic predicament.

Le Maire tried to justify the bad economic prospects by saying, “It is still positive growth, but it takes into account the new geopolitical context,” referring to the Gaza-Israel and Ukraine wars.

Sanctions imposed on Russia due to the conflict in Ukraine have caused energy prices and general inflation to soar, but Paris still increased the military budget by an astronomical 40%, to €413 billion, for 2024 to 2030, compared to the previous seven-year cycle.

Yet, amongst this economic chaos, the French president not only increased the military budget but also signed on February 16 in Paris with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky a bilateral agreement, valid for ten years, on security guarantees for Ukraine, including €3 billion in military aid to Kiev in 2024.

“This is a sign of our determination to support Ukraine in the long term,” Macron declared at a press conference following the meeting with Zelensky, which was broadcast on the Elysee Palace’s official X platform account.

Also, according to Macron, the agreement encompasses the commitments made in the G7 format on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Vilnius in July 2023. In addition to supplying military equipment compatible with weapons provided by NATO, the aid will be used to train Ukrainian soldiers and strengthen Ukraine’s defence industry, including joint production of weapons in Ukraine with French companies.

After postponing his visit to Ukraine, then scheduled for February 13-14, Macron announced that he would go to Kiev in mid-March. This was Zelensky’s third visit to the French capital since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, demonstrating how he is nothing more than a proxy for the Western elites in Paris, London, Berlin, Brussels, and Washington.

Earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg commented that he is already seeing the consequences of the US’s failure to make a decision on continued support for Ukraine. At the same time, the Ukrainian president, after meeting with Macron in the French capital, reinforced the search for ammunition and travelled again to Germany for the Munich Security Conference to hold a series of bilateral meetings with global leaders.

Ukraine is already effectively rationing its artillery, as ammunition supplies from allies are insufficient, and its biggest ally, the US, is experiencing an impasse in Congress over a new shipment of military aid to Kiev.

However, what is beyond doubt is the fact that Macron is prioritising an anti-Russia agenda to ultimately serve US interests, a far cry from his bold announcement of a Europe stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok and call for European sovereignty. Macron pursues this agenda without relenting in support for Ukraine, even at the expense of his own suffering citizens and economy.

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All Nazis must Die

all nazis must die , no mercy!

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Jan Kotke

all nazis in kreml will die in shame.

jens holm

strange they have elected a jew as president for ukriane. hard timnes for hitler.

BunkerDwellers

no way, not the french pedo cabal. if you ask very politely, they’ll stop. maybe roll over and play dead and then you’ll be their last play toy.

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CEO of Yapping

why would he care? he is making a killing with this war like others.

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BunkerDwellers

instead of the guillotine he might get his eyes popped out being ran over by a tractor. martyred for satan’s cause and the glory of hell.

Jürgen Grabowski

you russian fascists sound so stupid.

jens holm

you want us to die laughing or what?

CEO of Yapping

i wish to see that.

Jan Kotke

russia has lost lucrative european energy markets for decades. it can’t no longer sell its oil and gas with much higher prices than it has been forced to sell to china and india. europe is moving from fossile energy to renewables. really bad strategic failure for putin.

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CEO of Yapping

the eu lost cheap energy source which they use to build their economy. the eu have to pay more now to buy lng and oil from much higher price from the us and other countries. europe is moving from being normal people to be rtds. really bad strategic failure for europe.

also, “russia has lost lucrative european energy markets for decades.” nope russia is doing even better… clown this is from dw (german news) russia’s economy going strong – 22 hours ago. stfu rtd.

CEO of Yapping

from that same report: “two years of sanctions have failed to weaken the russian economy enough to stop it waging war against ukraine. if anything, the opposite has happened: russia’s economy grew by 3.6% in 2023.”

can you share your source for you claims pls???? i would love to read that.

jens holm

those 2 things are not related. france is not a cigar box enonomy.

furthermore russian lovers put our enonomy in the far out engels one and make it into facts.

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jens holm

i put cigar box out in bus station toilet to make my economy. many loves rush in further in my anals and make it onto my face.

CEO of Yapping

france lowers its 2024 economic growth forecast to 1%

russia’s economy grew by 3.6% in 2023

hmmmmm – didn’t know france was under 1000s sanctions…

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