During the G20 Summit, new French President, Emmanuel Macron, enraged the more liberalized press in Europe with his comments about the problems facing African nations. Yet no American media has picked up on it, neither CNN, MSNBC, nor ABC have covered the speech or it’s negative publicity.
President Macron was discussing Aid Packages and the future of “Aid Investment” when he was asked by a reporter why there was “no Marshall Plan” in place for African nations. His response has left European leaders questioning whether they backed the wrong candidate in the recent elections.
“The Marshall Plan was a reconstruction plan […] The challenge of Africa is totally different and a lot more profound, it’s civilizational today, we need to develop policies that are a lot more sophisticated than the Marshall Plan.”
He expands further, stating that mothers in Africa having seven or eight children is the real problem. This has been widely interpreted as implying that “Africa doesn’t need more Aid, it needs to have fewer babies“.
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has refused to answer questions regarding Macron’s reply, and the British government has only responded by stressing their commitment to ensuring a stable Africa through a combination of Trade and Aid.
Britain’s Foreign Aid budget, currently at 0.7% of GDP (around 13 billion GBP per year), has been widely criticized for its wasteful approach and lack of accountability. A recent poll puts support for slashing this budget at an overwhelming 78%.
The support for a direct cut in Foreign Aid throughout France and Germany is at a similar level to that of the UK; as public services are stretched to breaking point through the massive influx of migrants (largely from Africa and the Middle East), many people feel that the funds should be used to ensure “security” and “cohesion” within their own borders.
During President Trump’s recent Bastille Day visit, he called France America’s “first and oldest ally”. President Macron’s more populist, less globalist tone could signal the beginning of a shift in European politics. In many recent European elections, populist candidates have been been gaining ground immigration, security and trade issues.
Mark is a political writer and journalist who has worked on campaigns for Brexit.