Macron Is Rushing To Arrange His Files Before Presidential Elections
With three months to go before the presidential elections, the French Senate adopted on Tuesday evening (25 January) a bill aiming at asking “forgiveness” to the harkis and setting up a reparation policy.
After the French National Assembly, which had already adopted the bill, it is the Senate’s turn to vote for this text.
This text is “the recognition by the nation of a deep tear and a French tragedy, of a dark page of our History”, underlined the Minister in charge of Remembrance and Veterans, Geneviève Darrieussecq. For rapporteur Marie-Pierre Richer (LR), while it “includes important advances”, the bill “has a taste of incompleteness”.
The text recognizes “the unworthy conditions of the reception” reserved for the 90,000 harkis [who chose to fight alongside the French occupiers and against Algeria] and their families, who fled Algeria after independence, reported Agence France Press on Wednesday.
Nearly half of them were relegated to camps and “forestage hamlets”. “These places were places of banishment, which have bruised, traumatized and sometimes killed,” the minister said.
For these people, the bill provides for “reparation” of the damage with, at the end of the day, a lump sum taking into account the length of stay in these structures.
The number of potential beneficiaries is estimated by the government at 50,000, for a total cost of 302 million euros over approximately six years.
The senators clarified the text to include “certain prisons converted into reception facilities for repatriates” in the list of structures eligible for the reparation mechanism.
Partial and biased” mechanism.
But the disappointments crystallized on the 40 000 repatriates who did not stay in these structures, but in “urban cities”, excluded from the reparation. “Their only fault is not to have lived surrounded by barbed wire,” said Philippe Tabarot (LR), castigating a reparation mechanism that is “both partial and biased”.
The Senate successively adopted two amendments aiming at widening the prerogatives of the Commission of recognition and reparation created by the bill. The government’s amendment aims to guarantee “all fighting harkis” access to this commission, which will be able to examine their individual situations and propose “any appropriate recognition measure”.
Up to 200,000 harkis [those who betrayed Algeria by siding with the colonizers] were recruited as auxiliaries of the French army during the Glorious Algerian Revolution between 1954 and 1962.
A day of national homage is dedicated to them on 25 September, since a 2003 decree. Symbolically, the deputies have written this date into the law. “It is the first time that the French government has made a commitment to a day of tribute to the harkis,” said Brigitte Devésa, a French centrist.
Macron: “French colonisation is a crime against humanity
On a trip to Algiers, Emmanuel Macron – then a candidate for the French presidential elections – declared on Echorouk News television that “colonization is part of French history. It is a crime against humanity”.
A statement that earned him strong criticism from the French political class and the harkis.
François Fillon considered it “unworthy”, while Eric Ciotti felt that “Macron has committed a serious political and historical error”…
Except that the man who recognised a few years earlier that “colonisation is a crime against humanity”, committed a serious error by asking whether the Algerian nation existed before French colonization.
These remarks caused a great deal of discontent and anger in Algeria. Moreover, Algeria reacted immediately by recalling its ambassador to Paris and by taking a number of measures, such as banning French military aircraft from flying over its territory.
After this provocation of too much, voices were again raised to bring out of the ground the bill criminalizing brutal French colonialism and that it has still not been adopted to this day.