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Macron to meet East Germany

Emmanuel Macron will greet Monday à Berlin commemorates the memory of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis and launches from eastern Germany an appeal for peace. youth for more Europe, à less than two weeks before the European elections.

On a three-day state visit to Germany, the French president set the scene upon his arrival on Sunday: democracy is in “crisis”, shaken by the “rise” of extremes, a “fascination for authoritarianism”, and he called for people to go to the polls to “defend” it.

He is thus continuing his campaign for the European elections from Germany, while his camp's list is far behind that of the National Rally (RN, far right) in voting intentions on June 9.

“We feel that we cannot rest on our achievements, but that we must defend what is dear to us”, added German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier during a joint press conference.

Monday morning, Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte, accompanied by the German presidential couple, will visit the imposing Holocaust memorial, in the heart of the German capital.

Macron to meet East Germany

French President Emmanuel Macron (left) and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on May 26, 2024 at the presidential palace in Berlin © AFP – Ludovic MARIN

The opportunity for a meaningful moment of contemplation at a time when anti-Semitism is making a comeback in Europe, fueled by hostility to the Israeli offensive in Gaza in reaction to the attack by the Islamist group Hamas against Israel on October 7.

– Martyr city –

Emmanuel Macron will also decorate the French Serge Klarsfeld and his German wife Beate, who tracked down the Nazis who remained unpunished after the war and contributed to the memory of the Shoah.

They are today controversial for their positions in favor of Marine Le Pen's RN, whose commitment against anti-Semitism they salute, after having long fought the formation of her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, the National Front, founded by supporters of the collaborationist Vichy regime.

M. Macron will then travel to Dresden (east), the capital of the regional state of Saxony, where he will deliver a speech late in the afternoon in front of the Notre-Dame church (Frauenkirche), symbol of the torments of the 20th century.

The building, destroyed in February 1945 by American-British bombings, remained in ruins during the communist regime of the GDR and was rebuilt after reunification German in 1990.

The city of Dresden is also emblematic of the economic renaissance of this part of East Germany today known by the flattering name of “Silicon Saxony”.

Macron to meet East Germany

President Emmanuel Macron on May 26, 2024 at the presidential palace in Berlin © AFP – Ludovic MARIN

But the former GDR is also a land of conquest for the far-right AfD (Alternative for Germany) party, which is riding on the fear of downgrading and foreigners in these regions long cut off from the West.

Emmanuel Macron, first French president to visit East Germany since François Mitterrand in 1989, will speak to young Germans, but also from neighboring countries, Czechs, Poles.

– “Neither old nor young” –

“The East Germany is at the same time the center of Europe, a Europe which, 20 years after the enlargement of the EU to the East, is increasingly marked by the experiences of Eastern Europe”, underlined the President Steinmeier.

That is to say “the hopes and, at the latest since Russia's brutal attack on Ukraine, the fears of this region”, he pointed out, welcoming his counterpart's choice to go there.

The two presidents will also have a session in Dresden on ways to strengthen Europe's competitiveness against China and the United States, particularly in terms of artificial intelligence.

Tuesday, the Head of State will receive the Westphalian International Peace Prize in Münster (west) for his “European commitment”, before meeting Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Meseberg, near Berlin, for a Council of Franco-German ministers.

Macron to meet East Germany

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, March 15, 2024 in Berlin © AFP – Tobias SCHWARZ

The two will once again try to put to rest their differences concerning support for Ukraine, the future of Europe, and to boost the Franco-German couple, which remains the driving force of UE.

“This couple is one, they are neither old nor young, they are lively, demanding, ambitious for our two countries, ambitious for our Europe”, assured Emmanuel Macron.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116