Some members of France’s establishment, liberal-conservative Republicans have slammed the party’s vice president after he spoke out against native French people being “ethnically cleansed” by migrants in neighborhoods throughout the country.
During a television segment earlier this week, Gilles Platret, who happens to be the mayor of Chalon-sur-Saône and the vice president for the center-right Republicans party, said, “What we see today in some neighborhoods — and I will use a word that will necessarily make reactions around this table — I feel a kind of ethnic cleansing.”
“People of foreign origin… gradually drive out what is called in demography natives, that is to say, people from the country, to make room,” warned Platret, adding that people from the rapidly growing “Muslim bloc” were displacing the native French, the daily newspaper Le Parisien reports.
Some like Damien Abad, a member of parliament for the Republicans party, rushed to condemn Platret’s statement, saying he disagreed with what Platret said vehemently and considered his words to be “unacceptable”.
In the face of condemnation from his party colleague, Platret not only stood by his statements but also fired back at Abad, saying, “It is high time that Damien Abad returned to the field. The corridors of the National Assembly sometimes make you lose your grasp of reality.”
“The Republicans are a party of factions… I do not aspire to unanimity!”
Aurélien Taché, a liberal MP, claimed that Platret’s statements were “incitement to hatred” and is said to have reported them to the Paris public prosecutor’s office.
With six months to go before France holds its presidential elections, the highly contentious topic of immigration continues to occupy center stage in the majority of discussions held in newsrooms throughout the country.
Days ago, a survey carried out by the CSA Institute on behalf of CNews revealed that nearly half of French citizens believe all immigration – legal and illegal – ought to be reduced to zero, as Remix News previously reported. The number was even higher among citizens who consider themselves right of center on the political spectrum, with nearly 75 percent of respondents agreeing that all immigration into France should put to a halt.
As anti-immigration figures like Eric Zemmour and Marine Le Pen continue to show solid support in presidential opinion polls, Macron has once again attempted to present himself to the public as opposed to mass migration as well. Last month, in a desperate attempt to poach voters from Zemmour and Le Pen, Macron announced that France would begin restricting visas to citizens of Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco, citing that the governments of these North African countries have repeatedly refused to take back their nationals who’ve been issued deportation orders. The number of visas issued to nationals of Morocco and Algeria will be slashed by 50 percent, and for Tunisian nationals by 30 percent.
According to the one recent opinion poll, which was carried about by Harris Interactive, incumbent candidate Macron is trailing behind populist leader Marine Le Pen in the first round of the presidential election, drawing 25 percent to Le Pen’s 26 percent.