Furious French MEP confronts EU on its 'centralised, reductive and debilitating' vision

Jerome Riviere, a member of Marine Le Pen’s right-wing National Rally party, vowed to fight the EU’s “centralised, reductive and debilitating” vision. And he condemned the European Commission’s leaders for their “mad desire” to interfere with the sovereignty of member states, particularly on defence issues.

We will continue to oppose this centralised, reductive and debilitating vision

Jerome Riviere

Mr Riviere, head of the French delegation of the European Parliament’s Identity and Democracy Group, also criticised the bloc’s response to growing tensions between Greece and Turkey in the eastern Mediterannean.

He said: “Since the start of this term, certain groups under the benevolent gaze of the Commission have manifested a mad desire to interfere in a sovereign domain par excellence, which belongs only to nations, that of defence.

“After the European defence fund that would support armament programmes without proper validation, they attempted with this test to regulate the exports of armaments.”

Jerome Riviere

Jerome Riviere has launched a blistering attack on the EU (Image: GETTY)

He continued: “All pretexts are good for taking away the last parts of sovereignty from the member states.

“So much blindness! More than ever the world is uncertain.

“In the Mediterranean, this historical, economic and cultural space, tensions are bursting, which will shape our future.

“The European Union is showing its inability to act. Worse, it marks strong differences between a continental bloc led by Germany and the countries of the south.

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Jerome Riviere

Jerome Riviere said Brussels wanted to distance EU citizens from their own national governments (Image: GETTY)

“Threatened by Turkey, it is indeed France which – through its sovereign policy of arms exports, on the autonomous reserves of its Army and Navy – delivers to Greece in record time the Rafales and the Exocets that it requires.

“Recent events show the absurdity of these projects.

“We will continue to oppose this centralised, reductive and debilitating vision, which consists of distancing the peoples from the nations and their parliaments, which are the only legitimate centres of political decision-making.”

Mr Riviere lashed out after Turkey rejected a statement by the EU’s seven Mediterranean states as biased and “detached from reality”.

NATO members Turkey and Greece have overlapping claims to continental shelves and rights to potential energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean.

Tensions flared last month after Ankara sent its Oruc Reis survey vessel to map out possible oil and gas drilling prospects in waters claimed by Greece, Cyprus and Turkey.

In a joint statement France, Italy, Spain, Malta, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus said the bloc would draw up a list of new sanctions on Turkey at the end of September unless Ankara negotiates to resolve the dispute with Greece and Cyprus.

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Oruc Reis

Turkey enraged Greece when it sent a research vessel into disputed waters (Image: GETTY)

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said Greece must “unconditionally sit at the negotiating table with Turkey” in order to achieve dialogue and cooperation in the region.

It said Athens must withdraw its military ships from around Oruc Reis in order to de-escalate tensions.

The EU has said it stands in “full support and solidarity” with Greece and Cyprus in the dispute while Athens and Nicosia have called on the bloc to sanction Turkey.

The EU will address the issue at its summit next week.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the EU had no jurisdiction on maritime boundary matters and Ankara expected the bloc to remain unbiased.

(Additional reporting by Maria Ortega)



Macron SHAMED: Turkey brands French President’s intervention ‘arrogant’ in stinging jibe

Tensions between Greece and Turkey have escalated following a territorial dispute over a large portion of the East Mediterranean. Amid these tensions, Mr Macron urged fellow European states to take a firm stance against Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mr Macron made the statement during a summit on the Mediterranean island of Corsica and insisted Europe must have a united voice against Turkey.

In response, the Turkish foreign ministry denounced Mr Macron’s “arrogant” statement on the incident.

The Ministry said: “French President Macron has once again made arrogant statements, in an old colonialist style.

“The statements also promote tensions and endangers the interests of Europe and the European Union.

“Macron attacks Turkey and our president every day because we thwart his insidious projects and his dirty foreign policy games.

“Instead of posing blindly as the advocate of Greece and the Greek Cypriots, France should adopt a position favouring reconciliation and dialogue.”

In a bold move against Turkey, Mr Macron had also claimed the country deserves better leadership.

The Turkish foreign ministry, however, disputed this claim and insisted Mr Erdogan is fully supported by the public.

It added: “Our president is one of the elected leaders with the highest percentage of votes in Europe.

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Both Greece and Turkey have collided over the potential energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The two countries also share sovereignty of the island of Cyprus although Turkey only recognises the northern side.

Although the Greek military descended on the area, Mr Edorgan declared any aggression will be matched by Turkey.

Greek prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis has demanded the EU sanction Turkey and force the state to withdraw.

Writing in The Times, he said: “Later this month EU leaders will meet in special session to decide how to respond.

“If Turkey refuses to see sense by then, I see no option but for my fellow European leaders to impose meaningful sanctions.

“Because this is no longer just about European solidarity. It is about recognising that vital interests – strategic European interests – are now at stake.



Macron accused on ‘encouraging fake news’ as fury erupts against French President

Olivier Faure, the first secretary of the Socialist Party, criticised the French President’s refusal to “involve the representatives of the nation” following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter addressed to the president, Mr Faure wrote: “We are collectively facing a democratic challenge.

“With this unprecedented crisis, no one can decide alone.

“It is more important than ever to involve the representatives of the nation. You don’t.

“Parties and group presidents are not united, not informed, not associated.

“It is not healthy for the political life of our country.

“By doing this, you encourage the development of fake news, anti-mask and conspiracy supporters.

“We must get out of this infernal battle, which is fracturing society when it should meet again.”

The socialist leader went to ask the president whether the country is “ready to face” an “upsurge in infections and hospitalisations”.

READ MORE: Yellow vests RETURN: Chaos for Emmanuel Macron as anarchy expected

This week, Patrick Kanner, president of the socialists’ senators, and Valérie Rabault, his counterpart in the Assembly, urged Prime Minister Jean Castex to resume daily communication on COVID-19.

France has seen more than 300,000 people infected with the deadly virus and more than 30,000 people have died.

Last month, Mr Macron saw his popularity drop according to a recent poll with his Prime Minister also struggling to impress.

The Ifop poll for Le Journal du Dimanche revealed Mr Macron’s popularity was at 36 percent.

And the number of people who were not satisfied with the President was 63 percent.

This is a drop of one percent in the same survey carried out in June.

The popularity of Mr Castex also fell dramatically, from 55 per cent of people who liked him in July to 48 percent in August.

The rate of dissatisfied people soared from 40 to 46 percent.

Ifop believes this is down to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Mr Castex saw his first popularity rating stand at 56 percent, which was higher than his predecessor Edouard Philippe, which was 51 percent.

The survey was carried out on August 19 and 20 with a sample of 989 people aged 18 and over.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega



Yellow vests RETURN: Chaos for Emmanuel Macron as anarchy expected on French streets

Almost two years after the gilets jaunes movement sprung up, activists are set to descend on towns and city centres on Saturday in a bid to give French families a voice in the midst of the public health crisis. The yellow vests have been gearing up for their return on social media, teaming up with anti-mask crusaders. The yellow vests announced plans for the new operation on their Facebook page, which is followed by 110,000 profiles.

Jerome Rodrigues, one of the leaders of the movement, urged people to join the ranks of the gatherings on September 1.

In a warning to Mr Macron, Mr Rodrigues called for “complete civil disobedience”.

He urged activists to refuse to reveal their identity to police officers, if asked.

He added: “I invite you that day not to show your ID even if it means going for a little walk to the police station for an identity check and spending four hours there.”

Rallies are expected across France “to give a voice” to key workers who have continued working throughout the pandemic.

MACRON YELLOW VESTS

Macron crisis: France is braced for the return of yellow vest protesters this weeken (Image: GETTY)

MACRON

President Macron is grappling with a surge in COVID-19 cases (Image: GETTY)

But the movement also claims to represent business owners who have suffered as a result of the national lockdown, including pub and restaurant owners.

Mr Rodrigues said the group wanted to stage protests “in order to make this government listen to families in France, who unfortunately will have to pay the price of a disastrous management of the health crisis for which they want us to bear the consequences, make us pay, as well as our children and grandchildren”.

A number of Facebook groups following the yellow vests have fashioned themselves as pro-democracy campaigners, including the “September 12: We are the 2nd Wave for Democracy”.

One scheduled demo will kick off on Saturday morning in the 17th arrondissement of Paris.

Marchers will make their way through the streets and finish up at the Place Saint-Pierre.

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france news yellow vest protests

Yellow vest protesters are planning a comeback (Image: GETTY)

Another march will start at the Place de la Republique before snaking through the streets to the Place de la Nation.

Police in Paris banned two planned marches, one scheduled to take place in the Champs-Elysees and the other at the Place de l’Etoile.

Police chief Dider Lallement warned the gatherings would have seen people flout social distancing rules designed to curb the spread of COVID-19.

He said the rallies were “likely to generate disturbances to public order and bring together many people without being able to guarantee compliance with hygiene and social distancing measures”.

More than 2,000 social media users have “signed up” to attend rallies this weekend.

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france news yellow vest protests

A yellow vest protester at a rally in Paris (Image: GETTY)

france news yellow vest protests

Riot police arrest a yellow vest protester (Image: GETTY)

On Thursday France recorded almost 10,000 new coronavirus cases, marking the highest single-day increase since the epidemic began.

Rallies have also been planned in other cities across France including Marseille, Toulouse, Lyon, Lille, Nice and Strasbourg.

La France Insoumise spoke out in favour of the action planned for this weekend.

In a statement, the party welcomed the movement of yellow vests, which “carries anger and legitimate demands”.

The first demonstration staged by the group in winter 2018 saw 300,000 people march calling for governmental reforms.

French think tank Jean Jaures Foundation has predicted a huge turnout, as a recent poll showed one in five people who are opposed to mandatory mask rules admitted they had taken part in yellow vest protests in the past.

More than half of those surveyed said they backed the yellow vests.

Nightclub owners are planning on swelling the ranks of the group as they have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus crisis.

Comedian Jean-Marie Bigard, who has announced his candidacy for the 2022 presidential election, recently came out in support of the yellow vests.

However, disparaging remarks made by Mr Rodrigues towards the police pushed him to “dissociate himself” from the leader of the movement.

MACRON

President Macron wears a mask (Image: GETTY)

As a result, Mr Bigard plans to support protesters in the north-western city of Brest, avoiding the gathering in Paris.

Mr Bigard said in a video: “I say no, I can’t demonstrate on Saturday with a guy who calls the police ‘Nazis’.

“I am a friend of the police as much as I am a friend of the yellow vests, that is not at all contradictory.”

Explaining his reasons for choosing to stand in the presidential election, he said: “There are nine million people in France who struggle to make ends meet from the second of the month in the seventh richest country in the world.

“I expect the worst, I have some punches to take. I stand on my own. The others force-feed themselves with the people’s money.”

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.



French luxury giant's Tiffany tie-up in tatters after tariff tiff

A $16.2-billion (€14-billion) buyout by French luxury giant Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) of US jeweler Tiffany & Co. fell through this week after the French government expressed fears over US tariffs on French goods. 

After months of talks between the two sides, LVMH finally announced plans last November to acquire Tiffany, an American icon founded in 1837. LVMH, which had coveted the US jeweler for years, is the world’s largest luxury goods conglomerate and many saw the deal as a lifeline for its US counterpart. 

But LVMH’s withdrawal had been coming for some time, after it sought to renegotiate the takeover agreement in March at the start of the lockdowns and a big fall in Tiffany’s sales. In May its senior management reportedly began cutting off even informal discussions with senior Tiffany personnel.

On Wednesday Paris-based LVMH said in a statement it could not complete the deal with Tiffany “as it stands,” citing a request from the French government on August 31 to delay the deal beyond January 6 because of the threat of US tariffs on French goods. 

The US has been threatening tariffs on luxury French products in retaliation for taxes on technology companies that have hit American firms like Amazon, Facebook and Google. 

Tiffany & Co.'s store in New York City is currently being renovated

Tiffany & Co.’s flagship store in New York City is currently being renovated

Litigation could prove costly

Tiffany immediately sued to enforce the deal, asking a Delaware court to force LVMH to complete the merger or award Tiffany damages. The initial agreement allows Tiffany to pay a termination fee of $575 million to walk away from the deal, but LVMH doesn’t have the same option. 

The New York-based firm claims that LVMH’s argument for halting the buyout has no foundation in French law and that LVMH hadn’t attempted to seek the necessary antitrust approval. LVMH said the necessary approvals were expected in October. 

Tiffany said LVMH had also breached its merger obligations by excluding the retailer from its discussions about the transaction with the French government. In a securities filing, Tiffany said that although LVMH had informed the jeweler it had received a letter from the French government, it had not seen an original draft of that letter.

On Thursday, the Paris-based conglomerate — whose holdings include Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Moet & Chandon, Bulgari and Sephora — issued a statement threatening legal action of its own. Among other things, LVMH criticized Tiffany for issuing dividends even as it was losing money.

A hard-fought deal

In what would have been — and could still be — the sector’s biggest-ever buyout deal, LVMH agreed to raise its offer several times, finally accepting $135 a share, which translated into an equity value of $16.2 billion.

It was an all-cash figure that was 22% higher than the New York-based company’s share price in November 2019. The deal was expected to be completed by this June, with a merger deadline of August.

The acquisition would consolidate the French company’s position as a big player in the watch and jewelry sectors. It would reportedly double the size and profitability of its portfolio in that category, which includes brands like Bulgari, Chaumet, Hublot and Tag Heuer, and accounts for roughly 9% of LVMH sales. 

Tiffany faces uncertain future

Tiffany had been trying to transform its brand, but is facing uncomfortable prospects beyond a costly legal battle with LVMH. In the six months ending on July 31, Tiffany had revenue of $1.3 billion compared with $2.05 billion in the same period of 2019. Tiffany operates 321 stores worldwide and reported $4.4 billion in revenue last year. 

LVMH said second quarter sales fell 38% on a like-for-like basis to €7.8 billion, or $9.2 billion, after a 17% decline in the first quarter. In 2019, LVMH declared €53.7 billion in revenue, a 15% increase over the previous year. The company is active in 70 countries with nearly 5,000 stores and 163,000 employees.

In the end a deal may eventually be completed, potentially at a discounted price as its value has been eroded by wider industry troubles caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Global luxury sales are set to contract 25-45% in 2020, according to estimates by Boston Consulting Group.

In August in the US a number of major retailers filed for bankruptcy protection to try to save their businesses, including the 118-year-old department store chain JCPenney. For mergers and acquisitions the new world order has changed the rules, with a number of other deals called off or in doubt. The battle brewing between two of the biggest names in global luxury is one the biggest examples of this fracturing of deals agreed before the pandemic devastated retailers.



Emmanuel Macron sparks fury as French leader breaks own COVID-19 rules at student meeting

Emmanuel Macron sparked the fury of Twitter users after footage of a visit to a French high school was shared on social media. In the video, France’s president could be seen being caught up in a coughing fit while addressing the students before removing his face mask and coughing into his hand. French officials have long demanded citizens ensure they cough or sneeze into their elbow to avoid spreading the coronavirus should they touch something in the immediate aftermath.

Mr Macron cleaned his hands with sanitiser following the first fit before being handed a glass of water and removing his mask for the first time.

But after a second round of coughing, the President is seen removing his mask to again cough into his hand.

He then can be seen asking a nearby aide for a thinner mask before passing him his mic with the hand he coughed in to don the new mask.

Mr Macron then wore the new mask having retrieved the mic from the aide with the same hand, and continued to deliver his speech.

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The French President later defended himself as he insisted he had recently submitted himself to COVID-19 tests after visiting a red zone the previous day.

Mr Macron said: “I think I chocked on a bit of this cloth mask.

“Like I’ve said, I’ve been following our own testing protocol. Yesterday, returning from a red zone, I underwent a PCR test which came back negative.

But with sharp rises in coronavirus cases across France, the footage sparked the ires of many French citizens across social media.

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One user said: “What happened to #coughing into elbow?”

A Canadia doctor commented: “If @EmmanuelMacron were Albertan, he would require to self-isolate.

“And he would require to sanitize his hands after coughing in his hands rather than in his elbow.”

And another wrote: “It’s not like we’ve been told 30,000 times for the past six months we have to cough in our elbows…”

Some users also demanded Mr Macron be fined as all French citizens would should they be spotted in public removing their face coverings.

One user said: “Let’s hope that an agent witnessed the scene, and gave him a report of €135.”

And another added: “@EmmanuelMacron a €135 fine, come on!!! Like everyone!”



Emmanuel Macron crisis: French President under pressure following wave of resignations

Christophe Blanchet, Perrine Goulet and Blandine Brocard – who were all members of the LREM party in the National Assembly – have announced they are joining the MoDem following an offer from the party’s leader Patrick Mignola. Ms Goulet said in a statement she remains “loyal to the President of the Republic” and “consistent with our political commitment”. She said: “I remain clearly in the presidential majority by being in this group, but I am taking a step aside to move forward.

“I can only note that we have sometimes shown a lack of explanation in our reforms, that the regions are not listened to enough, and that too many decisions are taken in Paris.”

Ms Brocard also confirmed her departure from LREM to MoDem, insisting she “remains in the great family of the presidential majority”.

But she accused LREM of not succeeding in “opening up to all ideas wherever they come from”, adding the party “easily tends to drift towards a kind of self-righteousness”.

At the beginning of last month, Mr Jerretie also announced his departure to MoDem.

This is the latest blow to President Macron, with reports in France suggesting as many as ten departures could be announced from his party next Monday.

Cendra Motin, who also serves as a member of the Finance Committee, told the AFP news agency she “will not be leaving the LREM group”, but is “campaigning for the creation of an intergroup with the other two majority groups”.

Xavier Batut, who represents the department of Seine-Maritime, “categorically denied” to AFP that he is leaving LREM.

President Macron has been hit by several blows this year amid disagreements over the municipal elections and the loss of the party’s absolute majority in the National Assembly.

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The latest crisis for President Macron comes as he desperately continues attempts to curb the surging number of coronavirus cases in the country amid fears a second wave of COVID-19 could soon strike.

On Tuesday, France’s health ministry confirmed 6,544 new cases over the last 24 hours, with this total now surging to 335,524 infections since the outbreak began.

The number of deaths also climbed by 39 to reach a total of 30,764 – the seventh highest death toll from coronavirus in the world.

Health Minister Olivier Veran said that while the COVID-19 situation is worrying, he believes a second wave of infections can still be avoided.

But he told France Inter radio: “The reproduction rate of the virus stands at 1.2 which is less than the 3.2-3.4 level seen during the spring.

“The virus is spreading at lesser speed but it is circulating, which is worrying”, Veran told France Inter radio.”

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.



EU’s sinister agenda laid bare by French politician: ‘They ignored us too!’

Charles-Henri Gallois, a politician with the Popular Republican Union in France, has launched a new campaign, inspired by both the Brexit Party and Vote Leave. Mr Gallois wants France to “reprenons le controle”, which roughly translates to take back control, and leave the EU through a referendum. Brexit Party colours and fonts are used in his new campaign named Generation Frexit.

In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, the prominent French eurosceptic said: “For me, the British Brexit campaign was incredible.

“It was a war for European nations to take back control.

“What we want to do is help the French secure a referendum on our country’s membership of the European Union – and to advocate for Frexit during this referendum.”

Mr Gallois appears to understand the difficulties Britain went through after the referendum.

However, he laid the blame on the people who did not want to accept the result, while exposing a startling truth about Brussels.

He said: “Theresa May was a Remainer, so she was not negotiating to leave.

“What she came up with was a bad agreement and those were bad negotiations.

“The losers didn’t want to accept the fact they lost. Simple as that.”

Mr Gallois added: “We have seen in the EU how this is always the case.

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“It was the same in France in 2005.

“We voted against the European Constitution but they ignored our vote.

“They simply rebranded it the Lisbon Treaty.

“The EU doesn’t accept the result of elections if they don’t go the way they want them to go.”

On May 29, 2005, France held a referendum to decide whether it should ratify the proposed Constitution.

Ahead of the vote, former President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, who at the time was Luxembourg’s Minister for Finances and President of the Euro Group, admitted he would have ignored the result if it did not go the way he intended.

He said: “If it’s a Yes, we will say ‘on we go’, and if it’s a No we will say ‘we continue.'”

Following the No votes in France and the Netherlands, Mr Juncker also claimed that, in reality, voters had actually supported deeper European integration.

His remarks were met with outrage by eurosceptics, who suggested that the EU elite was in denial over the public hostility towards the bloc.

In the end, as the European Commission President predicted, eurocrats ignored the results of such popular votes and the European Constitution was subsequently rebranded as the Lisbon Treaty and passed in 2007.

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Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage famously claimed that was the moment he lost faith in the European Union and started to despise it.

Speaking on his LBC show, Mr Farage said: “In 2005, the European Union had produced its own constitution.

“The first proper blueprint – the first genuine admission that what they were building wasn’t a free trade zone, it was a state and they put it to referendums.

“The French rejected it, the Dutch rejected it and many other people, had they had the chance, would have rejected it.

“And what did the EU do? Did they learn the lesson? Did they say ‘Oh well obviously people don’t want a state with a flag, an anthem and an army.’ Did they row back? No, they rebranded it as the Lisbon Treaty.

“They forced it through without giving the French and Dutch another option. The Irish voted against it but were forced to vote again.

“From that moment, I have been an enemy of the entire project.”



French politician's ferocious critique of Theresa May exposed: 'She was a Remainer!'

Charles-Henri Gallois, a politician with the Popular Republican Union in France, has launched a new campaign, inspired by both the Brexit Party and Vote Leave. Mr Gallois wants France to “reprenons le controle”, which roughly translates to take back control, and leave the EU through a referendum. Brexit Party colours and fonts are used in his new campaign named Generation Frexit.

In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, the prominent French eurosceptic said: “For me, the British Brexit campaign was incredible.

“It was a war for European nations to take back control.

“What we want to do is help the French secure a referendum on our country’s membership of the European Union – and to advocate for Frexit during this referendum.”

When asked whether he would add a threshold such as a supermajority requirement to avoid the deadlock that happened in Britain, Mr Gallois refused.

“It was the same in France in 2005.

“We voted against the European Constitution but they ignored our vote.

“They simply rebranded it the Lisbon Treaty.

“The EU doesn’t accept the result of elections if they don’t go the way they want them to go.”

Mrs May stepped down as Prime Minister on June 7 last year.



Macron humiliated: Turkey brands French President 'hysterical' in scathing attack

Relations between Turkey and France – both of which are members of NATO – have worsened in recent weeks over conflicting policies in Syria, Libya and latterly Turkey’s dispute with Greece over energy resources. Ankara has accused Paris of backing Libya’s Khalifa Haftar against the Tripoli-based government which is recognised by the United Nations, having previously provided him with military assistance to fight Islamist militants – claims which Paris denies.

Mr Cavusoglu said: “Things changed, balances shifted.

“Haftar was defeated and Macron became hysterical.”

Turkey and France also clashed in June after a French warship tried to inspect a Turkish vessel as part of a UN arms embargo against Libya.

Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Cavusoglu also said Turkey had prevented Haftar from capturing the Libyan capital of Tripoli by lending military support for the Government of National Accord (GNA), repelling Haftar’s assault in June, dashing French hopes in the process.

Mr Cavusoglu said of Mr Macron: “With that hysteria, he didn’t know what to do.

“Right after that, he said our ships had harassed their ships in the eastern Mediterranean but couldn’t document this and was humiliated.”

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“We are two NATO member countries.”

Speaking earlier this week, Mr Macron said: “We have to create Pax Mediterranea, because we see an imperial regional power coming back with some kind of fantasies of its own history, and I am referring to Turkey.

“What France did this summer was important, it is a policy of red lines.”

“I do not believe that in recent years Turkey’s strategy has been that of a NATO ally when you have a country attacking the Exclusive Economic Zones or the national sovereignty of two European Union member states.

“What would be our credibility in handling the issue of Belarus if we did not respond to attacks on the national sovereignty of our member states?

“Germany and other partners are beginning to agree with us that Turkey’s agenda is problematic now.

“While six months ago some people said that only France blames Turkey for various things, now everyone sees that there is a problem.”

However, speaking last month, Dr Alexander Kazamias, of the University of Coventry, told Express.co.uk: “It is unwise in such a situation to send more warships to the region.

“France’s reactions can fuel more tension instead of containing it.”