The three-day state visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to Germany, which is planned for Sunday, should underline the exceptional importance of the relationship between the two countries – also in view of some discrepancies in recent months. But on Saturday the Elysee Palace in Paris and the Office of the Federal President in Berlin announced that the head of state would have to stay in France for the next few days because of the domestic political situation.
Macron spoke to Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on the phone and informed him about the situation in his country, said a spokeswoman for Steinmeier. “President Macron has asked to postpone the planned state visit to Germany.” Steinmeier regrets the cancellation and fully understands the situation in France. He follows the development with great attention. Steinmeier hopes that the violence on the streets will end as soon as possible and that social peace can be restored.
In France, after a police officer fatally shot a 17-year-old driver during a check near Paris on Tuesday, there had been massive unrest for the past four nights. Last night alone, more than 1,300 people were arrested and 79 security forces injured. Police stations, town halls and schools burned in several places. Supermarkets and shops were looted.
It is the second state visit that Macron has had to cancel due to unrest in his home country. Only in March was the new British King Charles III. disinvited again because of the protests against the pension reform in France. A new date has not yet been set for this either.
Ludwigsburg, Berlin and Dresden were on the program
The state visit was planned for July 2nd to 4th and had been prepared well in advance. Macron wanted to visit Ludwigsburg, Berlin and Dresden. 60 years after the bilateral friendship treaty, it is important to pause for a moment and talk about “what you have in each other,” said the federal government, the presidential office and the Elysee Palace before the cancellation.
A state visit involves a lot of protocol and is therefore considered a rare honour. A reception with military honors, which was planned in Ludwigsburg Palace, and a state banquet are planned. Steinmeier wanted to do this in the garden of Bellevue Palace. 60 young people from Germany, France and the Ukraine who are currently taking part in a future camp in Berlin were also invited. Macron wanted to give a keynote address on Franco-German relations in front of the Dresden Frauenkirche.
Critics had also seen the planned visit as an attempt to sideline rising tensions between the two countries for a while. The Russian war of aggression in Ukraine has exposed many latent conflict issues, such as dealing with nuclear energy and the common defense policy.
se/sti (afp, dpa, rtr)