Emmanuel Macron, former Economy Minister and currently one of the favorites in the upcoming French Presidential election, said on his visit to Algeria on Tuesday that France’s history in Algeria was a ‘crime against humanity’.
It’s really barbaric and is part of that past that we must face up to also by apologising to those who were hurt.
Macron said, condemning France’s colonial past. Algeria, formerly a colony of France, gained independence in 1962, during the term of Charles De Gaulle.
His comments have caused an uproar in France, and Macron lost his lead in the polls, that previously suggested he would win in the runoff against Front National leader, Marine Le Pen.
Le Pen immediately reacted by condemning Macron in a Facebook post:
Is there anything worse when you want to become president than going abroad to accuse the country you want to lead of crime against humanity?
Another of Macron’s rivals for the Presidency, the conservative, Francois Fillon also criticized his statement during a campaign rally: “This dislike of our history, this continual repentance, is unworthy of a candidate for the presidency of the Republic.”
Despite the negative reactions caused by his remarks, Macron refused to back down, and defended his position by saying that: “We must find courage to call things by their name” in a video statement sent to Reuters.
Macron, a pro-European independent centrist, is running a socially liberal platform and is supportive of German Chancellor, Angela Merkel’s migrant friendly politics.
French Presidential election is due to be held on April 23. In case no candidate wins a necessary majority in the first round, two candidates with most votes will proceed to a runoff.
Image: The Guardian