Regarding this “Qatargate” scandal in the European Parliament, with socialist vice-president Eva Kaili accused of having worked for Qatar and Morocco for money, the mainstream media talks about corruption while you have said it is also high treason. Why so?
This scandal does indeed highlight a reality: the presence and power of lobbies in the EU institutions with, obviously, the risk of collusion, connivance, and corruption that can result from their overrepresentation. And this is not limited to the European Parliament as those lobbies are also omnipresent in the vicinity of the European Commission.
Why did I mention treason and not just corruption?
Well, corruption is an almost proven fact here, as a number of people have been caught red-handed by the police. And by the way, it is interesting to see that those who have been caught or are suspected of wrongdoings are socialist elected officials who have spent their time, in recent years, giving lessons in human rights to the whole world, giving rule-of-law lessons within the EU and throwing accusations of racism or homophobia at all those who do not share their ideological vision. These people are less virtuous than they would have us believe since it looks like they have let themselves be corrupted by an Islamic and homophobic country and those two features did not seem to bother them much.
If I spoke of treason, it is precisely because, beyond corruption, which is morally condemnable, the fact of being corrupted by Qatar, the hub and nerve center of the Muslim Brotherhood, constitutes an absolutely major betrayal. These corrupt people have been defending Qatar’s interests against European interests. So, it is not only a matter of corruption, but also of betrayal of our nations, our peoples, and our civilization.
Do you think that this betrayal could be one of the reasons lying behind the attitude of the European Parliament and, more generally, of the EU institutions towards mass immigration? It is a known fact that Islamists generally see immigration as an important tool for the Islamization of Europe.
I am sure there will be other revelations concerning the influence exerted by Qatar and perhaps other countries. In the meantime, it is certain that a number of regulations adopted by the European Parliament have, for example, favored the Qatari airlines at the cost of their European competitors. The European Parliament has also adopted a number of other regulations favorable to Qatar. Is this the result of intense lobbying and corruption? It is quite possible. The special links with an Islamic country may have wide-ranging implications. When, in the name of diversity, the European Commission organizes campaigns promoting the wearing of the Islamic veil, one may wonder whether this is just a European commissioner’s decision, taken in a Brussels office, or whether the idea was first brought forward by some foreign powers such as Qatar.
As far as immigration is concerned, the EU institutions have always been permissive anyway. Let me remind you that when the Schengen Area was established in 1995, they sold to the nations of Europe the idea that we were getting rid of the internal borders but would in exchange protect the external borders. The reality is that there never was the slightest will to protect the external borders. This is so true that when Victor Orban’s Hungary took on to defend the external borders with Serbia to stop the migratory flow through the Balkan route, it was fiercely attacked from Brussels.
More recently, with the Frontex affair and the cabal against the director of Frontex followed by his resignation, we could again see that in Brussels there was a will not to transform Frontex into a real border police but simply an institution in charge of organizing immigration, protecting the rights of migrants — or a distorted vision of what the rights of migrants are — and securing their entry into the European continent instead of trying to prevent it.
The investigation and arrests in this “Qatargate” are actually the work of the Belgian authorities. The European Parliament had done nothing to act against its corrupt members on the Left. You are no longer in Marine Le Pen’s National Rally, but you must remember that the party you belonged to before joining Eric Zemmour’s Reconquest was severely sanctioned by the European Parliament for its use of parliamentary assistants for tasks related to the party and not directly to parliamentary work. Don’t you think that this way of acting only against the parties on the right of the center-right EPP, which are not part of the de facto grand coalition that goes from the far left to the EPP, is politically motivated?
Concerning the case you are referring to, I have always said and I continue to say that no offenses had been committed. The assistants support the MEPs’ parliamentary activity and such parliamentary activity is not limited to what happens in Brussels or Strasbourg. MPs’ actions, their public interventions, and professional travels of all kinds are part of their parliamentary mandate given by the voters.
It is clear that the European Parliament’s administration has shown extreme animosity in the past towards MEPs who do not belong to the majority bloc. On the other hand, we see that the majority bloc, which lectures others in all circumstances, is far from being virtuous. I think that in the coming weeks there will be many other revelations that will show the extent of the connivance, complicity, and corruption that affect the socialists but also probably other political groups.
With hindsight, do you think you made the right decision by leaving Marine Le Pen’s National Rally and joining Éric Zemmour’s Reconquest party? With your departure, the main French opposition party has lost the last active leader of its conservative, Catholic wing.
I made a choice based on my convictions, which is not necessarily the most comfortable position in politics. I believe, however, that you cannot make commitments to the voters without first defending ideas and convictions. I am one of those, like Marion Maréchal and Stéphane Ravier, who had tried for a long time to defend a civilizational right-wing within the National Rally, and Marine Le Pen always made sure that this sensitivity had as little weight and influence as possible within the party. Today, with Éric Zemmour, we are building a political force that is part of this civilizational right and that is therefore quite different from the National Rally, both in its ideas and in its strategy.
It is different in its ideas because for us, defending the French identity is not only about fighting against the economic, social, and security consequences of immigration but above all preserving what we are against the Great Replacement and against Islam and its political dimension which, contrary to what Marine Le Pen says, is not compatible with our Republic but is, on the contrary, a mortal danger for France. In the economy, we defend a vision based on freedom and responsibility, which is also very different from Marine Le Pen’s statist and demagogic discourse in this area.
We are aware that we are the custodians of a fabulous heritage, of our European and Christian civilization, and today we are witnessing a vast enterprise of deconstruction of this heritage. Marine Le Pen’s party accepts this deconstruction. It accepts homosexual “marriage,” it accepts medically-assisted procreation for lesbian couples, and the time will probably come when it will accept surrogacy and euthanasia. To us, it is essential to put up the fight against liberal progressive ideologies and this is a fundamental difference.
In terms of strategy, Reconquest, despite its differences, has the desire to unite forces on the right, whereas the National Rally has embarked on a go-it-alone strategy. It refuses to have allies and only accepts to be rejoined. Even if the National Rally has significant electoral weight, this deprives it of any prospect of exercising power.
Don’t you think that Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing coalition government in Italy could, by its example, change the minds both in the National Rally and among the center-right Republicans, and perhaps bring about an alliance of the right in France as well, like the one Éric Zemmour has been calling for?
Yes, I think it may help. Of course, not everything can be transposed between Italian and French political life, because the voting systems and political cultures are different. However, there is a real analogy between the approach of Giorgia Meloni and her Brothers of Italy party and that of Éric Zemmour with Reconquest.
First of all, there is the will to ally with other parties respecting their particularities and without trying to absorb them. When the parties of Silvio Berlusconi and Matteo Salvini chose, for a few ministerial posts, to join the coalition government of Mario Draghi, who was on the same line as Emmanuel Macron in France, Giorgia Meloni made the choice of staying firm and being faithful to her convictions, as part of the civilizational right, and Italian voters later rewarded her. Brothers of Italy obtained barely 6.5 percent of the vote three years ago in the elections to the European Parliament, and they are now the main political force on the Italian right and more generally in Italy.
What are your reasons for optimism after Zemmour’s and Reconquest’s defeats in this year’s presidential and parliamentary elections, apart from the meteoric rise of Meloni’s party in neighboring Italy and the analogies you see between your two parties?
First, I notice that the only real novelty in France in 2022 was the emergence of Reconquest. This happened in a frozen political landscape, with Emmanuel Macron who did everything to prevent the presidential campaign from taking place, using first the pandemic and then the Ukrainian crisis to put democracy and the electoral campaign in a cage and avoid any discussion about his results. This, of course, benefited the best-known and most established political forces by promoting tactical voting in favor of Jean-Luc Mélenchon on the left and Marine Le Pen on the right, while securing Emmanuel Macron’s re-election.
Although he was new, Éric Zemmour, obtained 2.5 million votes and his party has 134,000 members, which makes it the French party with the largest number of members who pay their subscription. This is a solid foundation for a new political force. And the next elections will be to the European Parliament. They are held by proportional representation and because of this, there will be no tactical voting. This will undoubtedly be an important step for Reconquest to take root on the French political scene.
If France had, on the Italian model, an alliance of the right with Reconquest, the National Rally and the Republicans, or at least their right wing, it would most likely revolutionize the balance of power in Brussels. Countries like Poland and Hungary would be less isolated with two major founding countries of the European Economic Community now closer to their ideas, especially in the face of financial blackmail from the European Commission and admonitions from the European Parliament on issues such as the rule of law and “LGBT rights”.
Everything has to be changed in the functioning of the European Union, in order to give less weight to the European Commission and more weight to free cooperation between the Member States and to replace unbridled global free trade with the protection of our market and our borders. Today, this fight is led by Poland and Hungary. However, during last year’s migrant crisis at the Lithuanian border, 16 out of 27 EU interior ministers requested that the European Commission finance the strengthening of the border. The commission refused, but this shows that, on a subject-by-subject basis, we can have more and more countries defending a vision that is more protective of the interests of the peoples of Europe.
Until now, the fact that only Central and Eastern European countries, which are net beneficiaries of the EU budget, have been involved in this struggle has put them in a difficult position against the European Commission. Obviously, if tomorrow we have France alongside Italy, that is to say, two founding countries that are also two net contributors to the EU budget, it will be complicated for the European Commission to keep turning a deaf ear. And above all, if there are several countries from both the Western and Eastern halves of the continent that advocate a radical change in the functioning and political orientation of the EU, this will inevitably pave the way for new treaty negotiations.