French submarine dispute could torpedo EU-Australia trade talks



Diksha Madhok | CNN

France is threatening to block talks on a planned free trade agreement between Europe and Australia after the Australian government ditched a huge deal to buy French submarines.

The French government has been seething ever since Australia abandoned its $90 billion Australian dollars ($65 billion) deal last week with France in favor of a new military agreement with the United States and the United Kingdom.
“Keeping one’s word is the condition of trust between democracies and between allies,” France’s European affairs secretary Clément Beaune told Politico. His remarks were confirmed on Monday by a spokesperson. “So it is unthinkable to move forward on trade negotiations as if nothing had happened with a country in which we no longer trust,” Beaune added.
As part of the security pact, known as AUKUS, Australia will be supplied with the technology to construct a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, considered to be superior to the conventionally powered vessels Canberra had previously agreed to buy from Paris. In response to the move, France recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia on Friday.
To read the full article from CNN, please click here.