World News: European ‘civil war’ fears as French president Macron warns rise of nationalism could tear the continent apart

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EMMANUEL Macron issued a stark warning today saying the European Union is currently immersed in a “civil war” between liberal and illiberal democracies.

Speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the French President, 40, called for the EU to act as a bulwark for liberalism at a time of danger throughout the world.

The French President has warned the EU is currently fighting a ‘civil war’

Macron said: “’We have a context of division and indeed doubt within Europe.

“There seems to be a sort of European civil war where selfish interests sometimes appear more important than what unites Europe.”

He added: “In the face of authoritarianism, the response is not authoritarian democracy but the authority of democracy.”

His comments appeared to be targeted towards nationalist leaders such as the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his own country’s far-right party Front National led by Marine Le Pen.

UKIP MEP Nigel Farage did not appear to be impressed by Macron’s speech
Macron criticised the likes of the French Front National leader Marine Le Pen
Hungarys Prime Minister Viktor Orban has openly criticised the EU

He argued it was a false illusion to go back to the days of national sovereignty at the cost of shared EU power, creating what he described as “need a sovereignty stronger than our own” otherwise nationalist tendencies could “tear Europe apart”.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Macron’s rise to power in France has “given new hope” to the European Union.

But Juncker, in a swipe to Macron, stressed that the world’s biggest trading bloc isn’t a club led by France and Germany. “Europe is an ensemble,” even with Britain set to leave the EU next year, he said.

With Britain set to leave the EU club next next year there are fears that the direction of the bloc will be dominated by the revival of old Franco-German axis with the smaller EU members being left out in the cold.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz has also questioned the EUs immigration policies
Jimmie Akesson, the leader of the Swedish Democrats wants a referendum on membership of the bloc
Far-right Geert Wilders is leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU was more than just France and Germany

Macron also delivered an impassioned defence of the recent US-led airstrikes on Syria, which France was a part of.

Almost shouting at times, Macron said: “(We) are outraged each time by images we’ve seen of children, women who died of a chlorine attack,” he said, almost shouting. “Do we sit back? Do we defend rights by saying: rights are for us, principles are for us, and realities are for other? No! No!”

Some MEPs held placards that read “Stop the war in Syria” and “Hands off Syria”.

He said the US, France and Britain intervened in a “legitimate, multilateral framework” and emphasised that the airstrikes specifically targeted three Syrian chemical weapon facilities “without any human life loss.”

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