French Presidential Hopeful Condemns Colonization

French Presidential Hopeful  Condemns ColonizationFrench Presidential Hopeful  Condemns Colonization

French independent presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron described colonization as a “crime against humanity” during a visit to Algeria this week, sparking outrage back home among conservatives and far-right parties.

Macron, a centrist, unequivocally condemned France’s colonial history in an interview broadcast by Algerian television Echorouk on Tuesday, France24 reported.

“It’s a crime. It’s a crime against humanity,” the former economy minister said. “It’s truly barbarous and it’s part of a past that we need to confront by apologizing to those against whom we committed these acts,” he said.

“At the same time, we must not sweep this past under the rug … There’s a fitting phrase that is said about Algeria: ‘France established human rights in Algeria. It simply forgot to [abide] by them'.”

Macron’s comments sparked outrage among conservative and far-right parties in France, which has never officially apologized for its 132-year colonization of Algeria.

“Mr. Macron, are roads, hospitals, French language and French culture crimes against humanity? Stop this constant repentance!” Florian Philippot, vice president of the far-right National Front party, tweeted on Wednesday.

Conservative presidential candidate, Francois Fillon–who is currently trailing Macron in the polls–echoed Philippot’s remark at a campaign event in the northern town of Compiegne, also on Wednesday.

"He’s saying what people want to hear. This hatred of our history, this constant repentance is undignified for a presidential candidate. It wasn’t so long ago that Mr. Macron recognized some of the positive aspects of colonization. This means that Emmanuel Macron has no spine. He’s simply saying what people want to hear,” Fillon told a crowd of around 4,000 people.

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