This Is How France Arbitrarily Emptied 1968 Agreement Of Its Content
In his latest encounter with local media, the President of the Republic Mr. Abdelmadjid Tebboune said that the French authorities should respect the agreements concluded between the two countries, including the Evian agreements signed in 1962, as well as the 1968 agreement, which gives many rights and privileges to Algerians in moving between Algeria and France.
Commenting on the statements of the French Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanain, regarding the number of illegal immigrants, whom Paris insists on deporting, President Tebboune spoke about the privileges that these agreements grant to Algerians: “The issue of visas is a matter related to the sovereignty of all countries, including Algeria, provided you respect the Evian Accords and the 1968 Accords that dictate some measures”.
These agreements give Algerians the right to enjoy a special system that facilitates their entry to French territory and gives them the freedom to settle there to engage in trade, work or study without difficulties or obstacles, and facilitations to obtain residence permits for a period of up to ten years. How did these agreements come and what do they stipulate?
The Evian agreements that led to the cease-fire between Algeria and France in 1962, and the latter’s commitment to recognizing Algeria’s independence, had provided for privileges in favor of the Algerians, including freedom of movement between their mother country and the former colony, but the French party worked hard to initial a new agreement that was agreed upon and signed in Algeria on December 27, 1968, by the foreign ministers of the two countries at the time.
This agreement emphasized privileges for Algerians, distinguishing them from other nationals of other Maghreb countries, notably Tunisians and Moroccans. The Algerians could move to France on a tourist visa, and during the visa’s validity period, they could work and study in France, and obtain residency there as well.
However, the French side persisted in order to limit the privileges of the Algerians within the framework of that agreement, and accordingly the signing of the first amendment to the terms of this agreement, on December 22, 1985, according to which the first and second articles were dropped.
The most severe blow to the 1968 agreement remains the revision that took place in 1994, and came in the form of a decree bearing the number 94/1103 issued on December 19, 1994, which was signed by the former French President, François Mitterrand, his prime minister, Edouard Balladur, and the then foreign minister, Alain Juppé, who rescinded Article VI of the said agreement.
It was clear from this amendment that it came from one party, the French party, at a time when Algeria was living in a very difficult situation, characterized by the security crisis that was ravaging the country, as well as the transfer of power from the head of state, Liamine Zeroual, to the same person as the elected president of the republic.
The most dangerous thing that came in this decree is depriving the Algerians of a privilege that was guaranteed, as they have the condition of obtaining a study visa for those who want to practice their lessons there, or a tourist visa for those who want tourism, but the right to work as it was in the past, was withdrawn from the Algerian side.
The decree also stipulated that any person who does not have Algerian documents must pass to the competent Algerian consul, in order to issue a permit to pass for his deportation, and in the event that the consul agrees to the deportation, and then it turns out that his nationality is not Algerian, he is returned to French soil at the expense of the French treasury.
The third amendment came in 2001, which entered into force two years later, and despite the recorded regression, there are still privileges for the Algerians, but the French party often abuses its provisions.