Emmanuel Macron has been hard. Very hard (too much) to the chief of staff of the army, general Pierre de Villiers, who could resign in the coming hours after having been violently tancé by the president of the Republic during a reception at the ministry of the Armed forces on the eve of July 14. “I consider for my part that he is not worthy to spread the debates in the public square. I made commitments, I am your leader. The commitments that I take in front of the fellow citizens, in front of the armies, I know, and I have in this regard need no pressure, no comment”, he announced with a tone very firm.
“I like the sense of duty, I like the meaning of the reserve that has held our armies to where they are today, has hammered the president. And what I sometimes find difficult to consider in some sectors, I admit it even less when it comes to the armed forces”, he repeated. “Bad habits have sometimes been taken on these subjects, considering that he had to go armed today as it goes for many other sectors. I regret it”.
The name of general Peter de Villiers has never not been quoted, but it is well him who was targeted by the violent charge of Emmanuel Macron in front of an audience of military, industry, and international guests. Was it really necessary to do it in this context? The chief of staff of the armed forces, has strongly criticized Wednesday in front of members of the defence committee of the train cost savings of 850 million euros imposed on the defence in 2017, judging the budget “not sustainable” for the armed forces. He relayed the incomprehension of a military community already under strain, which considers that the resources allocated are not at the height of the external missions (Sahel, Levant) and inner (Sentinel) current.
A defence budget increased to 34.2 billion
Emmanuel Macron has confirmed the 850 million euros of cuts in the defence budget in 2017. This amount is deducted from the € 2.7 billion of credits frozen for the current fiscal year in respect of the regulations on an annual basis.”An effort has been requested for this year to all departments, including the ministry of Armed forces”, stressed the head of State. “It was legitimate, it was feasible without affecting in any way the safety of our troops, to our military orders and the situation as it is today”, he stressed. The ministry of the Armed forces, which contributes 20% of the savings, is the one that most strongly impacted by the budget cuts (4.5 billion euros in total).
On the other hand, Emmanuel Macron has announced that the defence budget would be increased to 34.2 billion euros in 2018 (compared to 32.7 billion this year), including $ 650 million for overseas operations (OPEX). A net increase of $ 1.3 billion compared to 2007 if the budget is implemented to the euro close. It is much less than the objective of general de Villiers (2 billion). The head of State has finally ensured that the financial trajectory in the course of development would give effect to its commitment to increase the Defence spending to 2% of GDP in 2025.
For the budget 2018, he said that “200 million euros are dedicated to the reinforcement of the protection of our forces, wherever they are committed”. In front of the deputies, general Pierre de Villiers had, inter alia, expressed its concern vis-à-vis the safety of the soldiers on the ground, considering the number of armored vehicles to be insufficient.
“Because this is what we owe you, because it is the commitment that I have taken. In no way because of a few comments would be high,” pointed out the president of the Republic.
Emmanuel Macron, who, since his election, has strongly affirmed its status as the head of the army, has so roundly, and cruelly countered the criticism from the last few days of cf and sent a reminder scathing to general de Villiers, who was present, alongside the Prime minister, Edouard Philippe, and of the minister for the Armed forces, Florence Parly. In an article to be published Friday in Le Figaro, he renews his call to increase the resources of the armed forces. General de Villiers, who has always protected his troops, is he gone too far? Jupiter struck him…