POLITICS – The symbol made them jump. This Friday, December 31, the blue star flag of the European Union was displayed everywhere: under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, but also on the facade of the Elysée Palace and on the Eiffel Tower at the end of the speech presidential by Emmanuel Macron. One way to mark the beginning of the French presidency of the EU, which opens on January 1.
But the image above all aroused the immediate reaction of conservative leaders. In a series of tweets where she reacted to the speech of the Head of State, Marine Le Pen thus castigated the “alleged attachment of Emmanuel Macron to France”, symbolized according to her by this “European flag that the people yet rejected by referendum in 2005 ″. And to conclude with an ”umpteenth insult to our democracy” from the tenant of the Élysée.
A register on which the president of the National Gathering was joined by several other right-wing candidates for the 2022 presidential election. Valérie Pécresse notably inquired about a possible desire to “erase the French identity”, asking “solemnly” to President of the Republic to “reestablish our tricolor alongside that of Europe”.
More virulent, Eric Zemmour referred to the recent packaging of the Arc de Triomphe –work dreamed by Christo Jeanne-Claude– again writing on Twitter: “After the rampage and packaging, the outrage.”
Like the three main headliners of the right and the far right in view of the next presidential election, many are their allies and ideological relatives who have similarly denounced the symbol of the European flag under the Arc de Triomphe, or above the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a monument which salutes the memory of the soldiers who died for France in the various conflicts.
Thus, the sovereignists Nicolas Dupont-Aignan and Florian Philippot also went there with their tweet. The first saw in Emmanuel Macron “a profaner who tramples our national colors” when the second took advantage of the “insult” represented by this temporary change of banner to reiterate his calls for a French exit from the European Union.
A cry of anger which was also found in the political family of these various nationalist and conservative figures, whether at LR as at the RN in particular.
In his speech on December 31, Emmanuel Macron greeted the imminent French presidency of the EU, seeing it as a way to remind the rest of the world to what extent Europe must be a central international player. “The (Covid) crisis has shown that united our Europe could be not only useful, but a bearer of hope for all,” he declared.
Whether to support economic recovery plans or to give European populations broad and rapid access to the vaccine, the Head of State wanted to applaud the role of the Union since the start of the pandemic.
And to ensure that the French presidency of the body – which only occurs once every thirteen years – will mark a time of progress at various levels. “Yes, the values that our European Union carries are, I am convinced, those which will make it possible to meet our contemporary challenges.”
See also on the HuffPost: Macron criticizes the 2022 presidential candidates who attack Europe