Macron Lost The French, And Did Not Win Over The Algerians
One of the advantages of the crisis brought about by French President Emmanuel Macron, at the level of Algerian-French relations, is that it united the visions of the political and media circles in Algeria in dealing with the former colonial power, unlike what is happening on the northern bank of the Mediterranean, which is witnessing a serious rupture in dealing with this burning issue.
While the Algerians lined up behind a unified position, as what was issued by the French President is an unacceptable deviation that calls for reviewing the nature of bilateral relations and rebuilding them on the basis of equality. His positions are not calculated.
The most eloquent expression of the French scene is what the investigative newspaper MediaPart wrote, attacking Macron: “After being deceived by his blindness to the reality of the regime, and his disappointment to see unexpected obstacles standing against his will to turn the page of memory, misled by the advice of a diplomatic cell scattered everywhere, the president touched off with “Algeria an unprecedented diplomatic crisis”.
Radio “France Inter” described what is happening between the political parties notably regarding France’s dealings with Algeria as “a terrible thing.” “The anti-colonial left rejects the falsity of the historical truth about repression, and the right rejects what it calls a policy of repentance that would weaken us,” it wrote on its website, while commenting on Macron’s position on his country’s colonial past.
This is the approach drawn by “France Inter” about the French President’s move regarding the bloody events of October 17, 1961 in Paris. As for the daily “Le Figaro”, known for its right-wing tendencies, it believes that the best solution to overcome the tension at the level of the Algiers-Paris axis is to establish “balanced relations based on reciprocity”.
Macron’s troubles did not stop at the criticism from various French media outlets, but also received a violent attack by French politicians, especially the personalities who decided to run in the presidential elections expected to be organized in April next year.
The leader of the far-right, Marine Le Pen, the veteran candidate for the French presidency, did not pass by Macron’s recent statements, which were included in the statement issued by the Elysée Palace, along with potential candidates for the “Republican Party”, the right-wing, Michel Barnier and Valerie Pecresse, who expressed their rejection of what they called “a constant apology” by the French president for Algeria over his country’s somber colonial past.
They believe that Emmanuel Macron “went too far”, talking about crimes “unjustified for the French Republic”, in reference to the horrendous exactions committed by the French police under the authority of the criminal prefect Maurice Papon, and they believe that it is necessary to put an end to what Marine Le Pen calls “repeated repentance”, which she considered “repeated insults to her country by Algeria”.
Critics of Macron’s policy and positions insist on emphasizing that the victims were on both sides, and this introduction was nothing but an attempt by right-wing candidates to establish the conviction that if an apology is necessary, it must be from both sides, which is rejected by the French left, or what some call it the “educated left”, who recognizes the full responsibility of the French state for the hideous crimes that took place in the former colony.