Saturday, November 12, 2005

Translation of article linked from “Et pourtant, le pays a un Président élu avec un score de roi nègre”

From ¡No Pasaràn!: Et pourtant, le pays a un Président élu avec un score de roi nègre we linked the following from Libération:

En Afrique, la presse incendie la France

Seen from Africa, both in the north as wall as in the Sub-Sahara, the suburban revolt is seen as a failure of the integration of second and third generations immigrants. In the French-speaking press of the ex-colonies, one does mince words.

For la Nouvelle Expression of Cameroun, France has lost its republican spirit by closing the door to outsiders, both within and without. "the fact that two major incidents occurred almost simultaneously, like repatriation in Morocco of those seeking immigration to Europe (with like principal destination being France), and revolts by the young French seeming like two sides of the same coin", says a lead-in to an article titled "France: breakup of the republic!" Moreover, it continues, "there is a bond between people having difficulty with integration" as immigrants "in the Republic which found their grandfathers and fathers useful as either cannon fodder or as industrial labor, and the other jobs relegated to clandestine immigrants. Their dreams of a better life were dashed. Nicolas Sarkozy’s zero tolerance policy (...) led France at the edge of the explosion."

The Algerian daily El-Watan was indignant. In its pages a lawyer and the author of “Memories of immigrants” "Discusses" the careless attacks of Nicolas Sarkozy, heir according to him to a line colonialist thinking and xenophobia. "As recently as yesterday they called their parents ‘wogs’. Today, one describes them as "riff-raff" from the suburbs (...). As recently as yesterday they cleared out some one colonies with napalm. Today, one wants to clean them in Kärcher. Is this the State that advocates rights? Is this the fatherland of human right and of the democracy in which the suburban young believed in?" The author goes on to pester thos eon the right supporting the ideas le Pen, and against the cowardice of the left: "should one then speak of institutional discrimination? After all, isn’t that what calling many of the people in the suburbs "riff-raff" is? They are citizens of France, they were born there, studied there, pay their taxes there. They have been citizens of this country for several generations. Their exiled parents spent the best years of their lives defending, and helping to build the France of today; they are stripped of their elementary voting rights in local elections as the left promised which was disavowed since, which again raises the question of demagoguery."

Other African newspapers keep a more neutral tone with respect to a friendly government. Le Quotidien of Tunis reconsiders the fifty year history of immigration to France. “The immigrant suffered intolerably. A suffering whose political power, in France and also elsewhere in Europe, was not taken seriously. Now it confronts them brutally and frontally ", the commentator regrets.

In the Ivory Coast there was another alarm: France no longer has an air of moral authority in the country of Laurent Gbagbo, and the occasion is celebrated. "French Rebellion", was the title of Monday’s headline in the pro-government daily newspaper Notre Voie, rather mockingly: "Here thus large France confronted with a rebellion of immigrants who refuse to discuss with Sarkozy, but would readily accept Villepin. Should we proposed to them gracefully that they should follow the model of the Abidjan suburbs?" in a mocking reference to the negotiations of peace between factions in the Ivory Coast held in 2003 at the instigation of then Foreign Minister de Villepin.
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