A civil war in France?

myThere is much to do in terms of the composition and upcoming installation of the new Schoof cabinet. And from what I read and hear, this is usually negative. But one positive point is rarely noted: the transition to a government with, for the first time, a dominant radical right component in the Netherlands has been peaceful and democratic. There have been some anti-PVV demonstrations against the vote, such as in Utrecht or Leiden shortly after the victory of Wilders’ party on November 22, but civil peace has not really been threatened.

Things are likely to go differently in France and this should alarm Brussels and all EU countries: a seriously unstable France could plunge the EU into a state of paralysis. President Macron’s reckless decision to call new elections within three weeks has already had a grim effect. And the proximity to the Paris Olympics doesn’t help.

According to the first polls, the radical right party National Assembly (RN) could count on a monstrous victory. This means that of the 577 seats in the National Assembly, a maximum of 265 could go to the RN (left: only 145 seats, Macron’s center party: 155). Just shy of reaching the absolute majority, but with a gain of 176 seats. This would practically mean that the new Prime Minister would have to come from the RN.

Now, civil peace in France. Immediately after Macron’s decision, there were fierce but small demonstrations in several French cities. Generally, the protests, organized by the radical left and anti-fascists, became quite violent (they attacked a police station in Lyon and vandalized shops and banks in several cities). The slogans range from “Against fascism with revolutionary youth” to “Jordan, you are dead”, in reference to Jordan Bardella, the RN candidate for prime minister.

According to several police officers in the French press, a possible radical right-wing government is synonymous “with an increase in tensions and divisions in our country, which could lead to violence on the part of the extreme left, even during the Olympic Games. “. The driving force behind the revolt is part of the radical left party La France Insoumise (LFI), whose pro-Palestinian leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon is considered a neo-anti-Semite. There is then a real fear that the LFI will try to mobilize the immigrant neighborhoods (banlieues) against the RN by presenting this party as an Islamophobic danger.

In this case, riots like those last summer throughout France cannot be ruled out. What happens then with the Olympic Games?

Here and there the most serious and darkest of all scenarios is mentioned: that France could slowly descend into a state of civil war. This is what Henri Guaino, former special advisor to former President Sarkozy, said. There are far-left forces in France that are hell-bent on causing total chaos. The seizure of power by a radical right party, even if it has occurred democratically, is an excellent opportunity in this case.

Already on Saturday, up to 100,000 anti-RN protesters are expected in Paris and a total of 150 demonstrations or “actions” throughout France. There are many reasons for the EU to be worried.

The columnist broadcasts twice a week. Sylvain Ephimenco your view on current events. Read his columns here.

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