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Syria strikes 'solve nothing': Macron

18 April 2018

France's Emmanuel Macron said he considers himself an equal to Russia's Vladimir Putin and that the strike on Syria was meant to show he was "part of this", journalists who interviewed the French leader have revealed. He spoke as Britain is leaving the European Union next year, euro-skeptic populists have won elections in Hungary and Italy and the European Union confronts the Polish government over judicial independence. It was also argued that France had more military assets to contribute than the United Kingdom with its defences suffering cuts and, unlike the United Kingdom, could use warships as well as planes in the attack.At the end of the day, however, the difference in delivery was relatively slight.

The European Parliament's Brexit coordinator also told Mr Macron that the EU could no longer be driven by the traditional French-German axis and urged other member states to contribute more on the bloc's policies.

Last year Macron and his new liberal party, La République en Marche (LREM), triumphed in French elections with a strongly pro-EU platform. "I don't want to belong to a generation of sleepwalkers, I don't want to belong to a generation that's forgotten its own past", the 40-year-old president added. In 2013, Francois Hollande was urging raids while David Cameron went to the Commons for authority for military action and failed to do so, and Barack Obama desisted from bombing after accepting Russian assurances that President Assad would get rid of his chemical weapons.It made more sense, logistically, for the U.S. to liaise more with France than the UK.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a leading figure of the continent's nationalist right, swept to re-election this month on an anti-immigration, euroskeptic platform.

Bartsch said he would "sign off on numerous things which (Macron) has said".

In a clear reference to Hungary and to Poland, Macron said: "In the face of authoritarianism, the response is not authoritarian democracy but the authority of democracy". "These strikes don't necessarily resolve anything but I think they were important", he said.

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Macron said that France was ready to increase its contribution to the EU's first post-Brexit multi-year budget, which begins in 2020.

"Macron obviously doesn't yet understand that the future of Europe will be Euroskeptic".

On the euro, he faces an uphill struggle in convincing his key allies in Germany, where conservative supporters of German Chancellor Angela Merkel are pushing back against giving Brussels more power that could cost German taxpayers' money.

Mr Macron made the comments during a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, as he dramatically warned the EU not to "sleepwalk" towards another war in Europe.

"Emmanuel Macron, you're interrupting me because my question bothers you", one journalist quipped.

Syria strikes 'solve nothing': Macron