Macron postpones state visit to Germany
The first formal state visit by a French president to Germany in over 20 years was due to take place from Sunday to Tuesday. But due to the unrest in France, Macron decided to postpone the visit until the situation calms down. For commentators, the cancelled meeting was yet another stumbling block on what is already a rocky road.
A relationship full of misunderstandings
The Kleine Zeitung laments the news:
“France’s President Macron had to cancel his state visit to Germany because of the unrest in his country — the first high-protocol visit of a French head of state to Germany in more than twenty years. Relations between the two countries are stuck in work meetings. And in misunderstandings. ... France sees the European project primarily as a strategic concept to strengthen its own power base. ... Germany sees Europe primarily as a project for the free movement of goods and trade. ... The Rhine rift is deep.”
France’s negative image
France’s reputation continues to decline in Germany, observes German scholar Jacques-Pierre Gougeon in Le Monde:
“Franco-German relations are going through a difficult phase. Rarely have so many issues been a source of conflict between the two countries. This disagreement is contributing to the fragmentation of the EU. ... Another cause for concern is the difficulty of social dialogue in France. During the protests against the pension reform, the German media showed great concern about the social and political climate in France. ... The current riots reinforce this harsh media assessment. And the cancellation of the state visit reinforces the negative image France has in Germany.”