Tag Archives: France

The EU Continues to Wobble While France Holds It to Ransom, by Martin Jay

The Brexit negotiations continue to highlight the weakness of the EU. From Martin Jay at strategic-culture.org:

Too many signs have shown us that the EU is in real trouble. The worst one possibly is that its own outdated idea about governance is replicated by a French leader facing defeat. What losers!

In practical terms, it is clear to see that the EU as a viable project is not only in a panic mode currently, but actually going backwards in its desire to model itself on a United States of Europe federal model. And there can be no better examples than Brexit negotiations, Covid and France’s current malaise.

At the eleventh hour we have seen how, despite Britain remaining steadfast to its demands at the negotiations for a departure from the European Union, the EU itself shoots itself in both feet and looks even to its own supporters to be a loser of the highest order. Last minute demands are thrown into the negotiations by France’s Macron who is fearful of his own presidency hopes being scuppered if he has to deal with the wrath of thousands of French fishermen who will be out of a living by January 1st – if Britain is to get back full control of her own waters. To counter this with new demands about how the UK, as a non-member of the EU, goes about its business internally is both hilarious and desperate. Of course as a non-member of the bloc the UK will have its own ideas about how government interacts with business and state aid rules. How did a desperate French president threw this into the negotiations at really the eleventh hour demonstrates how weak the EU is and when it is presented with important matters, how it plays the role of a cheap girlfriend to its real masters. The fact that France could be allowed to do this is shocking. But the truth is that Macron is not playing for a deal. He prefers a no deal which he can use as political capital for his own fishermen. And the EU almost fell for it. Clearly there are divisions within the EU as to how to go about getting a Brexit. Many member states, like Germany, for example, are happy to give back fishing rights to the UK in exchange for a Brexit deal. Doesn’t the EU have billions of euros at its disposal to compensate and retrain out of work citizens? Of course it does. Structural funds run into billions and there is no viable reason why the existing EU rules would not favour out of work French fisherman.

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Why Is Europe Courting Revolution? by Alastair Crooke

The Europeans put up with lockdown in Covid-19 Round One, but they’re much less inclined to go along with Round Two. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

All eyes remain on the U.S. election, and on fathoming its consequences. But in the shadow of ‘The Election’, there are other ‘moving parts’: Germany just offered Washington ‘a sweetheart deal’ in which, Europe – with Germany leading – accepts to leverage America’s full-spectrum strategy of isolating and weakening Russia and China. And in return it is asking the U.S. to acquiesce to German leadership of a ‘power-political’, European entity that is raised to parity with the U.S. That, bluntly, is to say, Germany is angling for ‘superpower’ status, atop an EU ‘empire’ for the new era. Putin recognised such a possibility (Germany aspiring to be a superpower) during his recent speech to Valdai.

But the other ‘moving parts’ to this bid are very much in motion, too: Firstly, Germany’s ploy is contingent on their hopes for a Biden win, which may, or may not, occur. And then, too, President Macron seeks for himself, and for France, the leadership of Europe – with this latter – to an extent – being contingent on a ‘no deal’ Brexit taking place at the end of the year, that would further weaken a dis-animated and fading Merkel. France rather, plots the ‘Great Reset’ of Europe: A regulatory and values enforced ‘space’, underpinned by a common fiscal and debt regime that would rebuild France’s economic infrastructure.

All this raises many questions: Should Trump win, he can be expected to puncture any German (or French) aspiration to drain away some of America’s power, however nicely the German FM wraps it, as the U.S. not so much losing power, but as gaining “a strong partner on equal terms”. Huh!

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Break in Relations With the EU? – ‘If This Is the Way They Want It, So Be It’, by Alastair Crooke

Does it make sense for Europe to cast its lot with the US against Russia and China? From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

Wolfgang Munchau of Euro Intelligence has been suggesting recently that the EU is making mistakes born from listening only to its own (like-minded) echo chamber. Munchau was referring to how – when Boris Johnson had sought for a deal “to be in sight” by this month’s EU summit, he was met with disdain. The Council said not only was there ‘no deal in sight’, but that there would be no acceleration of negotiations, and furthermore stuck rigidly to its three red-line, ‘non-negotiables’.

Macron haughtily afterwards stated that the UK had to “submit” to the bloc’s “conditions” – “We didn’t choose Brexit”.

To which Boris tartly retorted: ‘There’s no point then in talking’.

Munchau wryly noted that the biggest risk to any deal “is when you keep telling yourself that the other side needs ‘it’ more than you do”. Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, then made clear what the Council imagines ‘it’ to be: It is the EU’s majestic “huge and diversified markets”.

“The EU has a month to disabuse Emmanuel Macron of this intellectually lazy assertion. The EU should not base its negotiating strategy on [the]notion that Johnson will fold: Maybe he will, maybe not”, Munchau observed.

Well, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov clearly shares Munchau’s general analysis. Speaking at Valdai last week, Lavrov said, “When the European Union is speaking as a superior, Russia wants to know, can we do business with Europe?”

“… Those people in the West who are responsible for foreign policy and do not understand the necessity of mutually respectable conversation – well, we must simply stop for a while to communicate with them. Especially since Ursula von der Leyen states that geopolitical partnership with current Russia’s leadership is impossible. If this is the way they want it, so be it”, [he concluded].

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France: Death to Free Speech, by Guy Millière

The land of the guy who’s credited with saying, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death your right to say it” (Voltaire) is ominously becoming one of the most speech repressive in Europe. From Guy Millière at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • Paris, October 16. A history teacher who had shown his students cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and had spoken with them about and freedom of speech was beheaded ….
  • [A different] attack shows that declaring oneself an “unaccompanied minor” in France can be sufficient not to be observed at all and all the same to receive full assistance from the government. The attack also suggests a disappointing grade for gratitude.
  • Any criticism of Islam in France can lead to legal action. The French mainstream media, threatened with prosecution by their own government, have evidently decided no longer to invite on air anyone likely to make comments that could lead to convictions or complaints. [The author Éric] Zemmour might still appear on television, but the increasingly heavy fines imposed on him are aimed at silencing him and potentially punishing stations that invite him.
  • “Strengthening the teaching of Arabic will simply help to nourish ‘cultural replacement'”. — Jean Messiha, senior civil servant and member of the National Rally party.
  • Commenting on a news report that stated, “The trial has sparked protests across France, with thousands of demonstrators rallying against Charlie Hebdo and the French government,” the American attorney and commentator, John Hinderaker, wrote: “When thousands demonstrate against the prosecution of alleged murderers, you know you have a problem.”
On October 16, a history teacher who had shown his students cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad was beheaded in a Paris suburb. The murderer, who tried to attack the police attempting to arrest him, was shot and killed while shouting “Allahu Akbar”. Pictured: Police officers stand guard near the site where the teacher’s murderer was killed. (Photo by Abdulmonam Eassa/AFP via Getty Images)

Paris, October 16. A history teacher who had shown his students cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and had spoken with them about freedom of speech was beheaded in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a small town in the suburbs of Paris. The murderer, who tried to attack the police attempting to arrest him, was shot and killed while shouting “Allahu Akbar”. According to the public prosecutor, he was a family member of one of the students. The facts are still unfolding….

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France: More Terrorism, More Silence, by Giulio Meotti

The French have terrified themselves into submission. From Giulio Meotti at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • This brand of extremism has also managed to transform many European citizens into prisoners, people hiding in their own countries, sentenced to death and forced to live in houses unknown even to their friends and families. And we got used to it!
  • “[T]his lack of courage to follow in Charlie‘s footsteps comes at a price, we are losing freedom of speech and an insidious form of self-censorship is gaining ground.” — Flemming Rose, Le Point, September 2, 2020.
  • “To put it simply, freedom of speech is in bad shape around the world. Including in Denmark, France and throughout the West. These are troubled times; people prefer order and security to freedom.” — Flemming Rose, Le Point, August 15, 2020.
On September 25, in Paris, two people were stabbed and seriously wounded outside the former offices of Charlie Hebdo, where 12 of the satirical magazine’s editors and cartoonists were murdered in 2015. Pictured: Firefighters and paramedics evacuate a wounded victim from the site of the attack. (Photo by Alain Jocard/AFP via Getty Images)

On September 25, in Paris, two people were stabbed and seriously wounded outside the former offices of Charlie Hebdo, where 12 of the satirical magazine’s editors and cartoonists were murdered by extremist Muslims in 2015. The suspect, in police custody, is being investigated for terrorism.

The accused murderers in the 2015 attacks are currently on trial in Paris.

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The Reverse-Colonization of France, by Guy Millière

In France, you can get in more trouble criticizing violent criminals than being a violent criminal. From Guy Millière at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • Asking the police not to give the name of killers is an attempt to hide the truth and prevent the public from knowing exactly who in France is committing these acts. Hiding the name shows a desire to appease the killers: when a killer has a Christian name, it is immediately printed on the front page.
  • “We only love what hates us, anything that destroys us is seen as great. There is a desire to destroy truth, history… We no longer teach the history of France and we no longer say what our civilization has accomplished. We only talk about our civilization to disparage it.” — Michel Onfray, Le Salon Beige, July 30, 2020 and YouTube, July 17, 2020.
  • “France is undergoing reverse colonization. Populations coming mainly from countries formerly colonized by France have settled in France without any intention of integrating. Most of them live in neighborhoods where the laws of Islam now reign and where imams spread hatred of France…. And in a gesture of submission, the French authorities say that hatred does not emanate from those who kill, but from those who want to react and say that we must put an end to assaults and murders. It is a suicidal attitude.” — Éric Zemmour, YouTube, November 22, 2016.
On July 4, on a small road in Lot-et-Garonne, in southwest France, a young gendarme, Mélanie Lemée, age 25, tried to stop Yacine E., a driver who was speeding. He accelerated and deliberately crushed her. She was killed instantly. Pictured: Gendarmes carry the coffin of Mélanie Lemée at her funeral in Merignac, near Bordeaux on July 9, 2020. (Photo by Philippe Lopez/AFP via Getty Images)

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France: Post-Pandemic Disaster? by Guy Millière

France’s prognosis is not good. From Guy Millière at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • France was, in addition, paralyzed from any kind of growth by a proliferation of regulations and an omnipresent bureaucracy.
  • During France’s lockdown, a law was passed to fine heavily (250.000 euros, $275,000) any social network that published what a judge might consider “hateful”; people are also now asked to report to the justice department any suspicious statement they read or hear about. Since schools and high schools have reopened, teachers were invited by the government to listen to the conversations of their students and immediately to report any comment criticizing the government.
  • “At the source of French misfortune, there are French traitors who bear French first names. They have been abusing the voters’ trust for more than 40 years. They lied about the real state of society and ransacked the country”. — Ivan Rioufol, columnist, Le Figaro, February 19, 2020.
French police, during the pandemic, have been ordered to avoid going into no-go zones. The government might have feared that if an incident occurred, riots could break out. On April 19, a young man riding a motorcycle at high speed hit the door of a police car near a sensitive zone in a suburb of Paris and was injured: for days, throughout the country, buildings and cars were burned. Pictured: A rioter shoots fireworks at police in Villeneuve-la-Garenne, in the northern suburbs of Paris, on April 20, 2020. (Photo by Geoffroy van der Hasselt/AFP via Getty Images)

The coronavirus pandemic in the northern hemisphere seems starting to subside — perhaps just temporarily.

Many journalists wonder if Italy, one of the eight countries most affected in Western Europe, will leave the EU. Another country of concern is France — not in great shape.

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France’s Determination to End Free Speech, by Judith Bergman

The noose tightens on whatever remains of free speech in France. From Judith Bergman at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • Private companies will now be obliged to act as thought police on behalf of the French state or face heavy fines.
  • “Under the pretext of fighting ‘hateful’ content on the Internet, it [the Avia law] is setting up a system of censorship that is as effective as it is dangerous… ‘hate’ is the pretext systematically used by those who want to silence dissenting opinions…. A democracy worthy of its name should accept freedom of expression.” — Guillaume Roquette, editorial director of Le Figaro Magazine, May 22, 2020.
  • “What is hate? You have the right not to love… you have the right to love, you have the right to hate. It’s a feeling… It cannot be judicialized, legislated.” — Éric Zemmour, CNews, May 13, 2020.
  • Asking private companies — or the government — to act as thought police does not belong in a state that claims to follow a democratic rule of law. Unfortunately, the question is not whether France will be the last European country to introduce such censorship laws, but what other countries are next in line.

With a new law, the French government has decided to delegate the task of state censorship to online platforms such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat. Private companies will now be obliged to act as thought police on behalf of the French state or face heavy fines. (Images source: iStock)

On May 13, the French parliament adopted a law that requires online platforms such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat[1] to remove reported “hateful content” within 24 hours and “terrorist content” within one hour. Failure to do so could result in exorbitant fines of up to €1.25 million or 4% of the platform’s global revenue in cases of repeated failure to remove the content.

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The European Union is Dead but Does Not Yet Know It, by Giulio Meotti

If unity was supposed the hallmark of the EU, then it most certainly is dead. From Giulio Meotti at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • The truth is that there is no “Union”.
  • The coronavirus now has put the European Union and its comfort zone face-to-face with all its weaknesses, decadence and cowardice.
  • Another merciless battle Italy fought with the EU was for protective face-masks. France adopted a policy of requisitioning them; Germany banned their export. Those unilateral decisions undermined a much-touted EU principle: the free movement of goods in the single market.
  • As L’Express exposed, France seized four million masks belonging to a Swedish company and that had been intended, in part, for Italy and Spain.
  • When Italy and Greece were overwhelmed by migrants from the Middle East and Africa, the EU countries refused to take their “share” of migrants. Lacking a policy to stop the flow of mass immigration, Europe decided to leave the southern countries to their fate.
(Image source: iStock)

The new coronavirus appears to be tearing apart the fragile framework of the European Union.

“Europe” said the former Commission chief and a EU godfather, Jacques Delors, “is in “mortal danger“.

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Coronavirus: A French Disaster by Guy Millière

How not to handle the coronavirus, from Guy Millière at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • The first bad decision was that, in contrast to the European Union fantasies, borders apparently do matter. France never closed them; instead it allowed large numbers of potential virus-carriers to enter the country.
  • In January 2020, several hundred thousand masks were available, but on February 19, President Macron decoded to send them to Wuhan, as a “gesture of solidarity with the Chinese people”…. The French government announced that masks would be available soon, but by the end of March, most doctors and caregivers still had no masks. Several doctors fell ill. As of April 10, eight have died from COVID-19 and several others are in critical condition. On March 20, the Government’s spokeswoman, Sibeth N’Diaye, incorrectly said, “masks are essentially useless”.
  • On February 25, a renowned French epidemiologist, Professor Didier Raoult… published a video… In it, he said he had found a treatment quickly to end the pandemic: hydroxychloroquine… (used with azithromycin)… On April 10, Professor Raoult published data showing that he had treated and cured 2,401 patients.
  • Immediately, Olivier Veran, the new French minister of health, said that Professor Raoult’s statements were “unacceptable” and that the treatment he was proposing was “worthless”…. In an attempt to quell the controversy, the French government, by decree, authorized Professor Raoult’s treatment in “military hospitals” for “patients reaching the acute phase of the disease” but prohibited family doctors from prescribing hydroxychloroquine. Professor Raoult replied that the treatment was only effective if administered “before the disease reaches its acute phase“. [Emphasis added]
  • France’s mainstream media would do well to fight harder for physicians to be able supply hydroxychloroquine with azithromycin and zinc sulfate. The French media would also do well to be more aware of the dirty game China is playing.
  • “The behavior of our leaders has been marked by unpreparedness, casualness, cynicism, and many of their acts imply the enforcement of the criminal law. Deliberate endangerment of the lives of others and failure to provide assistance to people in danger are obvious… In war, generals who are judged incompetent are sometimes shot. The President and other officials are well aware of this.” — Regis de Castelnau, attorney, in Marianne, a center-left magazine, April 4, 2020.
In contrast to European Union fantasies, borders apparently do matter. France never closed them; instead it allowed large numbers of potential coronavirus-carriers to enter the country. Pictured: A French policeman uses a drone to check the surroundings of the German-French border in Strasbourg, France, on April 9, 2020. (Photo by Frederick Florin / AFP via Getty Images)

On April 9, in France, one of the three European countries most affected by COVID-19 — the others being Spain and Italy, 1,341 people died from the Chinese Communist Party virus. For Italy, the main European country affected so far, the figure on April 9 was 610 deaths; for Spain 446, and for Germany 266. While the pandemic has been stabilizing in Italy and Spain — and in Germany seems contained — in France it seems still expanding.

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