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Iberdrola

Opinion

A serious and credible threat

security

Putin is escalating a conflict that is becoming dangerously entrenched. Meanwhile, Iran is landing in Ukraine and Algeria with its drones, and the Europeans are going their own way.

The Franco-German axis, once piloted by the EU, is now, in addition to being overtaken by events, rather at loggerheads. And the European Council of 20 October repeated the same song of eight months ago, in the face of an increasingly complex situation: reduce demand, cap prices, incentivise renewables, etc. This is what it means to reach minimum agreements to save a summit, without making significant progress.

Of course, the Europeans are wary of the Algerian dictatorship, but neither are they promoting the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline, backed by ECOWAS. And Macron buries the German-backed MidCat, proposed by Spain and Portugal, which, moreover, is underway. But he accepts BarMar, for 2030. By then everything will have changed. For the time being, France has prevented Spain from becoming a gas hub.

Macron is thus opposed to solving the energy crisis because he does not depend on gas, but on his nuclear energy. Moreover, he is incapable of leading the EU, now that Germany is half knocked out. And with it, the whole continent, with the risk of a cascading economic recession.

France suffers from serious social conflicts and, Macron, four motions of censure. Excluded from AUKUS, it lost a 50 billion euro contract with Australia, calling in its ambassador for consultations. Canberra opted for US submarines. Switzerland followed suit, opting for American F-35 fighter jets instead of Rafale. Nor does it hide its annoyance with a Morocco linked to multilateralism, to the United States and to the Abraham Accords.

Macron's visit to his former colony, Algeria, in the midst of a silent crisis with Morocco, highlights his 'divide and rule' policy. Macron's alleged closeness to Algeria is as unnatural as Sarkozy's rapprochement with Gaddafi's Libya was at the time.

Macron is thus deepening the political crisis in the south, in the Maghreb. Merkel did something similar, to the north (Nord Stream 2), when, against US opinion, she mortgaged the future of Germany and Europe in Putin's hands. Two years later it took Crimea. And after the Chancellor's departure, he invaded Ukraine.

It is obvious that Ukraine is cornering the Russian giant. But its biggest failure lies in its 5th generation fighters, the Su-57s, which are inoperative in Ukraine. The constant threat of nuclear weapons confirms its impotence. Like the use of Iranian drones or the Belarusian dictator's intention to go to war or the Chechen leader's call for jihad against the West or the North Korean tyrant's threats against South Korea and Japan.

Indeed, Iran and Algeria are specialists in using separatism for their own particular crusade against European, American or Israeli interests. The Iranian regime is present in North Africa, hand in hand with Algeria, in order to destabilise the Maghreb and southern Europe. Its armed wing, Hezbollah, trains the Polisario in Tindouf. At the same time, the Algerian dictatorship forbids talk of the Iranian threat at the failed Arab Summit in Algiers.

The United States and NATO have not hesitated to describe Algeria as a threat on the southern flank because of its connections with the ayatollahs and Hezbollah, while the Europeans remain chronically inopious. Indeed, congressmen, Democrats and Republicans, have already called on Biden to impose sanctions against Algeria.

In the current war context, where Putin's partners, Iran and Algeria included, are coming to his rescue on the ground or in international fora, Europeans are indifferent.

Indeed, they act like kingdoms of Taifas. Each with its own music and its own self-interested foreign policy. This should come as no surprise to Mr Borrell. An attitude that contrasts with that of the totalitarian bloc, which is ganging up and threatening the West with all-out war if Putin is defeated.

Sweden and Finland, loose cannons within the Union, are turning to NATO in fear of Putin. In the past they allowed "monsters" to be created far from their sphere of influence. Today, those foreign causes they supported, the PKK and the Polisario, have become their own. The Finnish Foreign Minister boasts of having unblocked the NATO membership deal with Turkey over a coffee break. "These are my principles and if you don't like them, I have others". I'm sure you do. Enough to support the sovereign cause of a NATO ally like Morocco.

The only reliable partner the EU, and especially Macron, has in Africa is Morocco. To be obstinate in pandering to the Algerian military dictatorship that has hated France since it granted it independence in 1962, while giving it the Moroccan Eastern Sahara, is to fuel regional instability.

French presidents have always supported Morocco's proposal informally. And it is Macron's turn to take this step with solemnity. Because Moroccan society sees the world through the prism of its Southern Provinces. This means that France could lose Morocco.

It is good to remember that France has less and less influence in Africa, while China and Britain, and even Russia, are gaining a foothold. Many African countries have adopted the Anglo-Saxon model, renouncing all vestiges of French colonialism, including language.

European self-interest prevents an urgent and intelligent response to the totalitarian threat posed by Putin's allies. Gas cannot be a licence for Algeria to install, with impunity, Iran and its armed wing Hezbollah and its drones in southern Europe, but calls for firm and unambiguous alignment with Morocco.

The EU, devoid of political power, faces the energy, political and economic crisis with little light. It is unaware that the current scenario will change its DNA, because it is geopolitically anchored in the Black Sea that interconnects Eastern Europe with Western Asia and the Mediterranean on its North African shore.

The EU's decline will come precisely from the disparity of its member states' positions in its international relations.