French President Emmanuel Macron will demand the European Union dissolve a customs union agreement with Turkey in response to aggressive rhetoric from Ankara, a new claim contends.
The French government is expected to present the proposal to the European Council in a pushback against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s aggressive policies in the eastern Mediterranean, along with recent comments directed at the French leader.
Broadcaster Europe1 published the claims in a report, which states that it had received information that the Macron government was looking to sanction Turkey after President Erdogan had referred to Macron as having mental issues.
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The customs union allows Turkey to have tax-free commercial relations with the EU member states. The abolition of the union would likely greatly impact the Turkish economy, which has already seen a rapid decline in terms of the purchasing power of the lira.
While the French government can propose to dissolve the customs union, the process will require the agreement of other EU member states. Some, such as Greece, have already called for sanctions but others, like Germany — a longtime Turkish ally — have resisted the idea.
France has stood in support of Greece since Turkey launched the research vessel, Oruc Reis, into territory Greece has claimed is part of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
The Greek government put its armed forces on alert over the matter in July, and tensions between the two countries have remained high for months.
In September, France deployed its aircraft carrier, the Charles De Gaulle, to the eastern Mediterranean while former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu warned that Erdogan’s aggressive moves could lead to a military confrontation.
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“Unfortunately our government is not doing a proper diplomatic performance,” Davutoglu said.
Erdogan has also called for the boycott of French goods after President Macron vowed to crack down on Islamist ideologies following the murder of teacher Samuel Paty.