The last thing Emanuel Macron was missing, with the unofficial start of the French presidential election campaign, was the ringing economic and political slap in the face that Paris snatched in the cancellation of the "deal of the century" with Australia, for the supply of 12 French submarines.
A huge contract, worth 32 billion euros, is not something the French economy in its current dilapidated state can give up.
Not to mention the heavy blow that landed on French pride on the part of two allies, Australia and the US, that would supply Canberra with eight nuclear submarines instead of the French submarines.
Negotiations between Canberra and Washington over the alternative supply contract were conducted in such a covert manner that in a meeting between representatives of the French and Australian defense and foreign ministries just two weeks ago, nothing was said that could make the French feel the blow that was about to fall on them. Allies, and the sharp and unprecedented French response of the ambassadors from Washington and Canberra to consultations in Paris is a strong symbolic message, indicating more than anything else France's weakness.
French lawyers are already reviewing the canceled supply contract documents, but no matter how high the compensation, it will not be possible to repair the image damage caused to France in the international arena.
Not on the part of rivals, but in the hands of friends.
Not on the part of an American administration whose slogan was "US first," but on the part of an American administration that claimed to do everything in its power to renew the relationship of trust between Washington and its allies.
Despite all their public efforts to "erase" Trump's years from history, Democrats are adopting and refining the policies of the former president, who saw the advancement of American interests as a top priority. Not just pure economic interests, but advancing a policy of building a bridal wall with China in the Pacific and Southeast Asian arenas. The military alliance announced by the United States, Britain and Australia, along with the announcement of the cancellation of the submarine contract with France, is a very aggressive message to China. Australia does not have nuclear weapons. New in an arena where China felt like a landlady.
The French have no choice but to lick their wounds, and learn an important lesson: arrogance is not a substitute for efficiency. However, the cancellation of the French "deal of the century" could play into the hands of Emanuel Macron: the president will now be able to exploit the injury of French national pride for his own needs. Anti-Americanism is a very popular commodity in France. Macron may be able to recruit a certain portion of the voters from the national camp, and thus tip the scales in his favor. Thus the curse will become a small blessing. For him.