France secures submarine deal

The French shipbuilding company DCNS was awarded a contract to build twelve submarines for Australia on Monday. Some commentators are uneasy with France's role as a leading arms exporter.

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Libération (FR) /

A questionable moneymaker

After the signing of the submarine deal the Socialist government in Paris expressed pride in French knowhow and the creation of new jobs. The daily Libération is more sceptical:

“It is paradoxical that a leftist government has outdone all its predecessors to become the most efficient arms seller in recent years. If we had the choice we'd prefer to see France excel in exporting products that are more useful to humanity. ... The Australian democracy is wary of geopolitical evolutions in the South Pacific and looks askance at China's ambitions in the region. The sale of submarines to such a democracy is by no means scandalous and rather testifies to the quality of French products. Much more condemnable, however, is the delivery of high-tech weapons to notorious dictatorships that are certain to use them to further their reprehensible goals.”

Boulevard Voltaire (FR) /

Hats off to excellent engineers

Blogger Henri Gizardin sees the submarine deal with Australia as proof of France's excellent engineering:

“There is no doubt that the quality of the products is based on know-how that owes much to the corps of French engineers. Although some are active in state projects and others in the private sector, they work together in perfect synergy because they graduated from the same elite schools. ... Sometimes this complicity has even played too great a role to the detriment of the users' real operative demand by promoting sophisticated systems that entail high costs and considerable delays. The 'revenge' for material that is ahead of its time and ahead of demand is that it finds its market only after a delay.”