French President Emmanuel Macron has warned Europe of a relapse into the 1930s because of the rise of nationalist movements. He was „affected by the similarities between the times we live in and those between the two world wars,“ Macron said in an interview with the newspaper Ouest-France published today.
Nationalism as „leprosy“
He called nationalism a „leprosy“ for Europe. The division of Europe by fear, the return of nationalism and the effects of the economic crisis showed „almost systematically everything that characterized Europe between the end of the First World War and the crisis of 1929,“ Macron said. He advised people to „keep a clear head and know how to fight back“.
Macron, who will visit northern and eastern France in the coming days on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, has recently accused other EU members of abandoning the values of the Alliance. He highlighted in particular the nationalist governments in Poland and Hungary and the right-wing populist government in Italy.
Macron also warns of outside influence
Macron warned in the interview at the same time that Europe would lose its independence if it is „pushed by foreign powers.“ He wanted to learn from history and promote a „more sovereign and multilateral Europe,“ Macron said.
He warned against relying too much on the US on security issues. In addition, China plays an increasingly important role in key infrastructure, Russia tries to manipulate, and financial interests and markets sometimes play larger roles than states, Macron said.