Australia, France settle submarine contract row

Australia has announced a €555m ($585m; £475m) settlement with France’s Naval Group as compensation for scuppering a submarine contract with Paris.

Australia angered France last year by suddenly cancelling a €35bn deal to build a fleet of submarines.

Instead, it chose to build nuclear-powered submarines with United States and United Kingdom technology – the so-called Aukus deal.

The settlement draws a line under a bitter row that threatened to torpedo EU-Australia trade agreement talks.

Anthony Albanese, who became Australia’s prime minister last month, said it was a “fair and an equitable settlement”.

He added that he would travel to France soon to “reset” a relationship beset by “pretty obvious” tensions.

French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu said the settlement “permits us to turn a page in our bilateral relations with Australia and look to the future”. (BBC)

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