French President Emmanuel Macron is unlikely to go down in history as a great politician, but he definitely deserved a place in history books and books of various records, if only because he is definitely the first and only person who tried to take the underwater gas pipeline hostage.
We are talking about a sharp change in the position of France on the “Nord Stream – 2” , which made pretty nervous many observers over the adventures of the Russian project, which is subject to constant attacks from the United States and the European Commission.
Friday passed a vote in the European Council of Ministers, which was supposed to accept or reject the draft amendments to the so-called gas directive of the European Union.
These changes, drafted by Romanian diplomats in accordance with the wildest anti-Russian wishes of Washington, Warsaw and Kiev, actually gave the European Commission the right to block the construction of Nord Stream-2 for political reasons and, in general, would take the gas pipeline itself from German jurisdiction to the EU jurisdiction, which would create quite serious problems for its construction and subsequent operation.
Until February 7, no one expected any surprises and difficulties for the Nord Stream – 2 from voting: Germany and several other EU countries spoke against the draft changes to the “gas directive”.
And judging by past attempts of this kind (they are trying to introduce changes from 2017), the resistance of countries whose companies participate in the project (that is, Germany, France, Holland and Austria), as well as their allies, would be enough to create blocking minority. “
However, on February 7, a surprise occurred: the French government sharply changed its position and declared support for the anti-Gazprom directive, despite the fact that its adoption would have caused direct and multi-billion financial damage to the French investor in Nord Stream 2 (the energy company Engie, which is not just is the main energy company in France, but is actually controlled by the state).
It turns out that the Macron administration was in favor of damaging the interests of France, the French budget and the country’s main energy company. Without the French vote, the defenders of Nord Stream 2 would not have been able to organize a “blocking majority” – and a decision against Nord Stream 2 would have been taken.
What could be behind such a strange decision of the Elysian Palace?
It is logical to suspect the influence of Washington, but this version has several problems. First, Macron has a very tense relationship with Trump, a sluggish trade war between the European Union and the United States, and Macron himself and the ministers of the French government have repeatedly made extremely harsh statements against the United States.
Secondly, the American media, which are usually very well aware of the actions of American diplomacy, could not hide the shock of the “betrayal” of the French president. American diplomats and diplomatic sources did not brag about their successes in the French direction, and Twitter, the main boaster of the planet, Donald Trump, was suspiciously silent.
Third, the French could easily explain their behavior by pressure from Washington, which would have caused a storm of delight in many European and American politicians, but instead representatives of the French authorities lopat something unintelligible about the “need to protect Eastern Europe” and common European interests.
In this context, the simplest and most cynical explanation seems to be the most likely: Macron simply blackmailed Merkel and tried to take hostage the most important energy project for Germany as a whole and for the German Chancellor.
It is significant that the same version offers readers as the main American business magazine “Forbes”.
“French President Emmanuel Macron wants Merkel to accept his proposals for reforming the European Union, but Merkel did not support his ideas about the overall budget and debt system of the eurozone.”
The French president was faced with the impossibility of implementing his Napoleonic plans to reform the European Union and transform it into a more centralized structure, in which France and Macron personally would play a key role. Macron promoted presidential, well-defined supranational financial structures, and he himself was perceived by many as the main globalist project that showed the whole world that the global establishment found the right answer to populist (ie anti-globalist) political projects – such as Donald Trump, Brexit, Italian ” League ”and“ Five Stars Movement ”.
In practice, it turned out that instead of turning the French president into an all-European leader and reformer of the European Union, as well as the leader of the “global coalition against populists”, he faced a drop in the rating in his homeland and is now forced to extinguish the political crisis caused by protests. yellow vests.
Macron urgently needs money in order to solve the economic and political problems of France and finance his extremely ambitious plan for reforming the European Union.
There is no money in France, and this has been known to everyone for a long time, and institutional investors will not credit Macron search projects, even if he lays down the Elysee Palace and the Eiffel Tower.
And Macron himself, as a former high-ranking banker of the structures of the Rothschild family, is well aware of this. He has exactly one way out (which he himself has repeatedly acknowledged) – in order to save France and the European Union, according to his plan, the financial support of the weaker EU countries should be financed by EU debts, which Germany will guarantee, otherwise no one will give money for it .
Very few people in Berlin may like the idea in the style of “the French, Italians, Poles and everyone else will spend money borrowed under the guarantees of the German budget and taxpayers.”
Over the decades spent in the status of an actual American colony, German politicians and taxpayers, of course, have become accustomed to a variety of national humiliations, but that would be too much. That is why Angela Merkel, as “Forbes” noted, did not support such bold projects and selfish ideas of the French leader.
Apparently, the “yellow vests” and economic problems in France, as they say, were “secured against the wall” of Emmanuel Macron – and he considered that if we take the Nord Stream 2 hostage, then Germany would still give France money.
Needless to say, this decision caused a shock in the European energy and financial community: no one expected the French president to torpedo a project that would benefit the country and the French company.
However, even if the anti-Russian changes to the “gas directive” were adopted, this would not mean blocking the project – since the European Commission would have to “drag” it through the European Parliament before the end of its term in May of this year, and then prove it in the European The Supreme Court that the rules of the “gas directive” can be applied to the “Nord Stream – 2” retroactively, that is, in violation of the fundamental legal principle “the law is not retroactive.”
Moreover, it should be noted that the legal expertise of the Council of Ministers of Europe has already given a negative opinion on the anti-Russian changes to the “gas directive”.
However, it did not come to all this, because Angela Merkel personally joined the taming of the obstinate Macron, who resolved the issue in 24 hours: on Friday, on the day of the fateful vote, she made a statement in which she said that “ agreed to a compromise. “
The final text of the revised “gas directive” is similar to anything other than compromise, but rather resembles the subtle mockery of German diplomats over their European opponents: all anti-Russian points are left in the document, but all have been made with annotations and also introduce almost any exceptions to the rules of the directive itself.
The story resembles the situation with the “Nord Stream – 1”, which “in the exception mode” already operates at full capacity, despite the protests of the United States, as well as lawsuits from Poland.
Western analysts are wondering whether Macron received something in exchange for this “compromise.” Truth we, most likely, will never know. But the most likely answer is that he received a small, rough and visual lecture from the German authorities on the fact that, if necessary, Berlin would simply destroy his political career: for this, Germany does not even need to support “yellow jackets”, so how it is enough just to prohibit France from violating the pan-European rules to limit the budget deficit, which Macron allowed to “violate as an exception” in order to support the country’s economy in a period of political turbulence.
Even if pro-American countries of the EU and pro-American officials of the European Commission tried to defend France, Germany would have had enough influence both in the European Commission and in the European Central Bank in order to arrange a financial crisis in France.
One hard statement, Merkel, would be enough to provoke the flight of investors from French financial markets, total panic and the massive sale of French government bonds and shares of French companies.
Then, of course, French banks would have to be rescued so as not to sink the entire European financial sector, but Angela Merkel would do it in collaboration with another French president.
It’s not for nothing that in America they say that they don’t have to annoy their banker, and Germany at the moment is by and large the main and de facto only European Union’s “banker”.
“Nord Stream – 2” will be completed, unless, of course, there is any difficultly predictable political or economic surprise, but the “Macron case” has already clearly shown that Germany is ready to actively protect this project, and this is a good sign for Russia. gas pipeline, and for the Russian-German relations in general.
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