The crisis in relations between the Macron and the army

14 July 2017 will forever remain in the annals of the history of the day of the open crisis between the army and the President of the fifth Republic, in spite of this successful parade in the presence of the American leader is Donald trump. At the weekend all the sources le Monde spoke of the inevitability of resignation of the head of the General staff of the army of Pierre de Villiers (Pierre de Villiers).

It all started on July 11. The Minister of state budget Gerald Darmanin (Gérald Darmanin) was reported in the newspaper Le Parisien, at the end of 2017 interagency solidarity would not include the excess of the cost of foreign operations, as provided by law: to pay the army will have to save € 850 million in equipment and technology. The news of the cuts, which are superimposed and serious freezing of credits, was a real cold shower. The President pledged to increase the defence budget to 2% of GDP by 2025, that now requires new loans. In this regard, on 30 June it extended the term of office of Pierre de Villiers for another year.

On 12 July the chief of staff expressed to the President a protest at the meeting of the defence Council. And then went to a closed meeting of the defense Commission of the National Assembly. If you believe the leaks, he was beside himself: “I will not let you just to fuck me!” Known direct and open-minded Pierre de Villiers has won the applause of the deputies. Together with parliamentarians intensified and representatives of military industry.

“I am your boss”

On the evening of 13 July, the head of state traditionally came to the Ministry to meet with the soldiers, who the next day had to go through the parade. His words sounded authoritativeness: “I feel unworthy to put some controversy on public display”. “I’m your boss.” “Don’t need no pressure on me, no comments,” said Emmanuel macron, assuring that it will fulfill its obligations.

On the morning of 14 July, General de Villiers was accompanied by the President during the parade and posted it on Facebook, as he often does, the letter to the soldiers. His topic was trust. After the change of course of the President General announced to the staff that decides in the beginning of the week.

On 15 July the head of state told the weekly le JDD: “If the head of the General staff, a conflict occurs with the President of the Republic, the chief of staff changes.”

After the election of Emmanuel macron made a number of gestures towards the army. On inauguration day, he walked up the Champs Elysees in the team car and immediately visited the wounded soldiers d hospital Percy. 19 may within the framework of the first trip outside Europe, he went to the French troops fighting jihadists in the Sahel. “I will protect military service (…), I totally trust you,” said the President in Mali.

“Unacceptable” cuts

The same demonstrative was observed several days later in Lorient. During the visit at the shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, the head of state set sail with a detachment of Marines. Beautiful pictures for whom opponents accused of lack of presidential image. July 4, he went by helicopter on Board the submarine Terrible (one of the four nuclear weapons) and spent a few hours under water.

In addition, the new commander in chief had demonstrated a desire to take up all military dossier by the Ministry of foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian (Jean-Yves Le Drian), who headed the Ministry of defence five years of the reign of Hollande, and the heat from the influential head of his office of cédric Lewandowski (Cédric Lewandowski). On change Le Driano were selected two layman: middle of the road, Gular Sylvie (Sylvie Goulard), who a month later resigned because of the scandal around the fictitious employment, and the former socialist parley Florence (Florence Parly), an expert on “budget” issues. Neither she nor Le Drian had not spoken about this since the crisis began.

“By doing so, macron has created the impression that he used the soldiers for the sake of image building, they have the feeling that they were deceived,” — complained one French parliamentarian. The proof is the fact that criticism of the President’s policies up to the sounds of his own camp. Possible successor Le Drian MP, Royar Gwendal (Gwendal Rouillard) called the budget cuts “totally unacceptable.” The Chairman of the Commission for the defence of Jean-Jacques Bridey (Jean-Jacques Bridey), in turn, noted that regrets the decision of the Executive. “It was absolutely not serious to talk about reductions of 850 million euros with the simultaneous allocation of 1.5 billion for the recapitalization of Areva, he said the newspaper le Monde. — Schedule trap the military, Ministers and even the President.”

During the presidential campaign, members of the inner circle of Macron called him “commander.” Apparently, he wants to remain so after the election. While it is difficult to say whether there will be chief of staff in his post, but experienced observers claim that the work of the new President in any case began with a major crisis.

“Of course, the military executes the orders, and the President should be reminded of his powers, says highly respected Henri Bantega (Henri Bentégeat), which was the predecessor to Pierre de Villiers, a position he held with Jacques Chirac. — But the method will still leave a mark. It is wrong to publicly humiliate a military leader to his subordinates.” In the end, “Pierre de Villiers was only doing his duty, protecting the defense budget, and Emmanuel macron does not understand that when he goes to the nursing Home to pay tribute to the first soldier who will die for spaces with equipment, all the accusations will fall on him.”