The unrest in France exposed internal problems in the social sphere throughout the European Union, writes ‘Asharq Al-Awsat’ (Saudi Arabia). According to the author of the article, calls to do away with "semi-rogue immigrants" will only exacerbate the already plight of Western countries.
The unfortunate events that have taken place in France over the past few weeks have raised the question of whether the whole of Europe, already in deep crises, will face similar turmoil?
In late October, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell spoke at the opening of the new European Diplomatic Academy in Belgium, saying that “Europe is the garden of peace. The rest of the world, most of the rest of the world, is jungle."
Such Eurocentrism can hardly be associated with a region that in the first half of the last century became the cradle of Nazism, fascism and deadly totalitarianism.
Borrell seemed to be running from the fate of the European Union, which was very close to disintegration, although its member countries were striving for unity. Much-desired prosperity has been replaced by economic and financial upheavals that are likely to lead to increased protectionism and economic nationalism.
The past years, especially the coronavirus pandemic, have had a great negative impact on the economic future of the Old World. The Russian-Ukrainian conflict has exposed the deep fault lines that exist between various European countries, especially after the EU lost its ambition to develop a Eurasian idea that builds bridges of cooperation with Russia, not burn them. This all led to the fact that the Europeans lost their internal balance and changed the strategy of sustainable development so that the “heavens of militarism” returned and opened up over the lands that knew the cost of two world wars in the last century.
In this general context, what is happening in France can be seen as a continuation of the economic and social crisis throughout Europe. This is her legacy, a ‘Sisyphean labor’ that has no end.
Has France been affected by major pan-European crises lately?
Yes, although, like all major capitalist countries, it has invested heavily to avoid serious threats during the pandemic. Everyone wondered who would pay for this. It seemed obvious that the French working class would be the one to shoulder all these enormous costs.
This economic trend is day by day deepening the internal political strife in the Western countries, so that France is being sacrificed. The tug-of-war is carried out by the left, represented by Mélenchon, and the right, whose flag is flown by Le Pen. The centre-left, to which Macron belongs, is clearly losing ground. A year after his election as president, Marcon was able to resist the yellow vest movement.
Today, at the epicenter of catastrophic violence in the country, which will continue for who knows how long, the head of France is noticeably weaker than before. No one can justify the terrible violence that France has not seen since 2005.
And although a senior French police official said: “The violence will soon stop because there will be nothing more to steal,” the catastrophic nature of what is happening in France today lies in the fact that current events open the door to the dominance of the French right. Especially given the fact that slogans that threaten security around the world are being circulated again.
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