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French President Emmanuel Macron greets Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis prior to the signing ceremony of the defense deal in Paris on Sept. 28, 2021. Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images

Greece will buy three French warships as part of a $3.5 billion defense deal announced Tuesday, AP reports.

The big picture: The defense and security strategic partnership comes after a scrapped multi-billion dollar submarine deal with Australia thrust French President Emmanuel Macron into a diplomatic crisis this month.

  • France was blindsided by the submarine deal involving the U.S., U.K. and Australia and accused the U.S. of a "stab in the back."
  • Tuesday's announcement also aims to boost Greece's defense capacities in the Eastern Mediterranean against longtime adversary Turkey.

Details: Greece will purchase three French frigates, with an option for the acquisition of a fourth.

  • The frigates will be delivered in 2025 and 2026, per AP.

What they're saying: Macron and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the partnership at a joint news conference in Paris, per AP.

  • "The Europeans must stop being naive," Macron said.
  • "When we are under pressure from powers, which at times harden [their stance], we need to react and show that we have the power and capacity to defend ourselves. Not escalating things, but protecting ourselves," he added, per Reuters.
  • "This isn't an alternative to the United States alliance. It's not a substitution, but to take responsibility of the European pillar within NATO and draw the conclusions that we are asked to take care of our own protection."

Mitsotakis said the partnership comes "out of national motivation to shield our country," but also has "a European motive as it strengthens our common defense industry."

  • "This will tie us for decades," Mitsotakis said, per Reuters. "This opens the door to the Europe of tomorrow that is strong and autonomous, capable of defending its interests."

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 6, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Natural gas rides the roller coaster as policy ideas fly

Photo: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg via Getty Images

European gas prices soared again today to fresh records, but then began falling after Russian President Vladimir Putin signaled Russia would boost supply — gyrations that come as European Union officials struggle with the immediate crisis and how to prevent the next one.

Driving the news: European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said EU leaders will discuss creating a strategic natural gas storage reserve, per S&P Global Platts and other outlets.

2 hours ago - World

Brazil senators vote to recommend criminal charges for Bolsonaro

Brazilian senators vote on probe into President Bolsonaro's handling of pandemic. Photo: Gustavo Minas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate committee Tuesday voted to approve a report recommending President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with a raft of criminal indictments, including crimes against humanity over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, per AP.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro has become the face of a right-wing approach to the pandemic that includes repudiating vaccines and masks and resisting lockdowns and other mitigation measures. The Senate report holds him personally responsible for half of the country's 600,000 deaths.

Former Georgetown tennis coach pleads guilty to accepting admissions bribes

Gordon Ernst (left) former head tennis coach at Georgetown, outside a courthouse in Boston in 2019. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A former Georgetown University head tennis coach has pleaded guilty Tuesday to bribery charges related to facilitating the admission of prospective applicants.

Why it matters: Gordon Ernst solicited and accepted bribes from William Singer, ringleader of the cheating scheme uncovered by Operation Varsity Blues, and families in exchange for helping prospective applicants get into Georgetown as student athletes, according to the Justice Department.