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Trump gives Europe a 'historic' chance to become stronger, French minister says

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Key Points
  • With the American president now imposing trade tariffs on the EU, challenging the status quo, and scrapping previously-signed accords, there is a sense in Europe that it now needs to react.
  • Le Maire added that the Franco-German “motor” remained crucial at a time when Trump looked to “weaken Europe.”
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (2nd L) speaks as US President Donald Trump (C) arrives for a family picture during the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) summit at the NATO headquarters, in Brussels, on May 25, 2017.
Eric Feferberg | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump is giving a renewed purpose to the Franco-German relationship, a critical bond for the survival of the European Union, the French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told the Financial Times.

The links between the two Europe nations deteriorated somewhat during the previous French presidency, with commentators suggesting Germany had to take sole responsibility for leading the European Union. However, with the American president now imposing trade tariffs on the EU, challenging the status quo, and scrapping previously-signed accords, there is a sense in Europe that it now needs to react.

Trump “gives us a reason to unite and a historic chance to become stronger,” Le Maire said in an interview published Tuesday.

Le Maire added that the Franco-German “motor” remained crucial at a time when Trump looked to “weaken Europe.” France and Germany are the two largest European economies. At the core of the EU, and founding members of the 28 nation bloc, they are seen as critical in every step that the alliance takes.

Read the full interview on the FT website here.