Australia to pay France 555m euros in settlement of subs row

France — Link

French defence minister Sebastien Lecornu said the settlement 'permits us to turn a page' on the diplomatic row over Australia's decision last year to cancel its purchase of French diesel-powered submarines, worth a total of 35 billion euros, in favour of a strategic pact with the US and UK in which it will receive technology to build nuclear submarines.

Macron says 'I know' Australian PM lied over sub deal

International — Link

French President Emmanuel Macron, speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome, was asked if he thought that Australia's PM Scott Morrison had lied to him before the abandonment by Canberra of a 56-billion-euro contract for French submarines in favour of a deal for US-designed nuclear submersibles, replied: "I don't 'think', I know".

Australia hopes for detente as France plans to send back ambassador

International — Link

After submarine deal row, diplomat Jean-Pierre Thébault will head back to Canberra to ‘redefine’ the relationship. 

France says Johnson asks to re-establish ties after subs row

International — Link

The French president's office said on Friday that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Emmanuel Macron to express his hopes of resuming cooperation between their two countries on defence and climate change, following a bitter diplomatic dispute over Australia's decision to cancel a 56-billion-euro order for French submarines.

Biden and Macron ease aborted sub deal tensions

International — Link

US President Joe Biden and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron reportedly spoke by phone for half an hour on Wednesday about the tensions prompted by Australia's decision join a military pact with the US and UK leading to the cancellation of its intended purchase of 12 French submarines, after which Paris announced the return to Washington of its recalled ambassador.

Why submarine sale row shows France must re-think its role in the world

International — Opinion

After a phone conversation on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron appeared to have at least partly defused tensions over the new military pact between Australia, the UK and the US which entailed the cancellation of Australia’s purchase of 12 French submarines worth 56 billion euros. In this op-ed article, Mediapart’s international affairs specialist François Bougon argues that the diplomatic crisis of recent days should prompt a re-think of France’s global role and an end to the notion of its grandeur and exceptionalism, a heritage handed down from Charles de Gaulle.

France threatens to block EU trade deal with Australia

International — Link

As French government anger mounts over Australia's announcement this month that it has abandoned an agreement to buy 12 submarines from France in favour of a defence and weapons pact with the US and UK, French European affairs minister said Paris is ready to block ongoing EU talks for a trade deal with Australia, which he called 'a country in which we no longer trust'.

France cancels defence meeting with UK over Australia subs dispute

International — Link

Paris has called off a meeting due in London this week between France's armed forces minister and her British counterpart amid a heightening row  over Australia’s decision to abandon a deal to buy 12 French diesel-electric submarines in favour of a pact with the US and UK.

Corruption in Brazil: suspicions over meeting between Sarkozy and Lula

International — Investigation

A former Brazilian finance minister, Antonio Palocci, claims that the issue of hidden payments was discussed during a meeting held between the French president Nicolas Sarkozy and the Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on the evening of September 6th, 2009. An investigation into the sale of French Scorpène submarines to Brazil and the construction of a naval base at Itaguaí in the South American country has revealed the existence of up to 70 million euros in commissions paid by the Brazilian partner company of the French naval defence firm Naval Group. Karl Laske investigates.

Karachi Affair probe blocked by 'lying statements' of French intelligence officers


In May 2002, 11 French naval engineers were murdered in a suicide bomb blast in the Pakistani port city of Karachi. The ongoing French judicial investigation into the massacre, which has become known as the ‘Karachi Affair’, has uncovered strong evidence suggesting it was linked to a secret political funding scam in France. Several survivors of the blast are now engaged in a legal battle to get to the truth as to whether former French intelligence officers have lied on oath about what their agency knew about the links between a wealthy Saudi figure, Ali Ben Moussalem, identified as a key figure in the case and the politicians suspected of corruption. Fabrice Arfi reports.    

How Hollande's `bus full of generals' helped beat Germans to sub deal

France — Link

French lobbying, including by François Hollande and 'a bus full of generals', helped win €34bn Australian deal over low-key German rival bid.

France wins €34 billion Australia submarine contract

France — Link

The 12 Shortfin Barracuda submarines will be built by French defence and naval group DCNS in Adelaide using Australian steel.

Arms dealer suspect in political funding scam probe issues 'warning' to President Sarkozy

France — Report

Franco-Lebanese arms dealer Ziad Takieddine, at the centre of what has become known as the ‘Karachi affair', involving secret political funding from commissions paid in French weapons sales abroad, has given a detailed interview to French TV news channel BFMTV (photo), in which he appeared to address a warning to President Nicolas Sarkozy, now increasingly implicated in the case: "I want to see the president, he has an interest, I think, and France has an interest, that he receives me for at least 15 minutes."

Secret French spy reports point to bribes behind Karachi blast

International — Investigation

In May 2002, a group of 11 French engineers died in a bomb attack on their minibus in Karachi, Pakistan. They were helping to build submarines sold to Pakistan in a murky deal involving huge bribe payments. For years the blast was officially attributed to Islamic terrorists, a theory now dismissed. Mediapart has gained exclusive access to secret intelligence reports, hidden for almost nine years, which strengthen suspicions of a cover-up in a political scandal that runs all the way to the doors of the French presidency.