Paris (AFP)

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Thursday that the submarine crisis showed that the European Union could "no longer count" on the United States to guarantee its protection, and called on Europeans to "open the eyes".

"The first lesson to be learned from this episode is that the European Union must build its strategic independence. The Afghan episode, the submarine episode, show that we can no longer count on States -United of America to guarantee our strategic protection, ”he told Franceinfo.

"The United States has only one strategic concern, China, and to contain the rise in power of China."

Both former President Donald Trump and current Joe Biden "believe that their allies (...) must be docile. We believe that we must be independent," said Bruno Le Maire.

"Our European partners must open their eyes," he added, criticizing Denmark's support for the United States, going against the criticism formulated by the European authorities after the Australian decision to cancel the program. contract signed by the French Naval Group, in favor of a new partnership with the United States and the United Kingdom.

"To think like the head of state of Denmark that the United States will continue to protect us, defend us, whatever happens, is a mistake."

"We can no longer count on anyone but ourselves," said Le Maire.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen defended “very loyal” US President Joe Biden on Wednesday, saying she did not understand French and European criticism “at all”.

A loyal ally of the United States, with whom it has fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, Denmark regularly expresses its priority given to NATO rather than to Europe of defense, contrary to the position defended by French President Emmanuel Macron.

© 2021 AFP