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Conflicting left-wing views on Macron’s ’vassal’ comment

April 19th, 2023

Two left-wing commentators express diametrically opposing opinions on French President Macron’s statement that Europe should not be a ‘vassal’ of the United States.

In Népszava, Tamás Beck interprets Mr Macron’s words to mean that Europe should detach itself from the United States. Without the United States, he writes, Europe could not defend itself from Russian aggression. Beck finds it particularly controversial that the President of France made his remark after his talks in Peking and in the context of the relations between China and Taiwan. Beck also asserts that the United States is indispensable in combatting those he calls autocrats, including Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

On Index, Gyula Hegyi, an otherwise frequent contributor to the Népszava Op-ed page welcomes Mr Macron’s statement and believes that this was precisely the position of former Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose successors confine themselves to toeing the line set by the United States. Meanwhile, he admits that Europe is extremely unlikely to become independent from the United States. The late President de Gaulle was incomparably more powerful than Mr Macron is today, yet even he failed in his attempt to make France strategically independent.

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