'Colonisation gave a lot.'Far-right leader Marine Le Pen thinks French colonisation of Algeria was a "good" thing…
Posted by Middle East Eye on Tuesday, April 25, 2017
In an interview with French television channel BFM last week, presidential candidate Marine Le Pen stirred controversy by saying that “colonization gave a lot to former colonies, especially Algeria”.
The far-right National Front candidate defended France’s 132-year colonial rule of the North African country, which led to the persecution of millions.
In the one-on-one interview with presenter Jean-Jaques Bourdin, Le Pen also came to the defense of the “pied-noir”, the European settlers of Algeria, and condemned the treatment of Algerians who served as auxiliaries in the French army, known as Harkis. “I defend the Harkis along with those who were repatriated. I think they were ill-treated and ill-received in their country,” she told Bourdin.
Le Pen’s views echo a general denial of France’s colonial past among many right-wing politicians. A few months prior to Le Pen’s statement, centre-right presidential candidate Francois Fillon drew criticism for reducing colonization to “the sharing of cultures”.
Recently, however, Emannuelle Macron, the frontrunning centrist candidate going head-to-head against Le Pen in the second round of the French vote, made a surprising statement condemning France’s colonization, branding it as a “crime against humanity”.
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