Macron warns of na­tion­al­ism

Viet Nam News - - WORLD -

PARIS — French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron has warned Europe of a re­turn to the 1930s be­cause of the spread of a na­tion­al­ist “lep­rosy” across the con­ti­nent, in an in­ter­view pub­lished on Thurs­day.

He also warned that Europe risked los­ing its sovereignty if it is “pushed around by for­eign pow­ers”.

“I am struck by sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween the times we live in and those of be­tween the two world wars,” he told the news­pa­per Ouest-France, urg­ing peo­ple to be aware of the threats.

“In a Europe di­vided by fears, the re­turn of na­tion­al­ism, the con­se­quences of eco­nomic cri­sis, one sees al­most sys­tem­at­i­cally ev­ery­thing that marked Europe be­tween the end of World War I and the 1929 (eco­nomic) cri­sis,” the pa­per quoted him as say­ing.

“You must bear that in mind, be clear-headed and know how to fight back,” he added.

Macron, who is about to start a week-long visit to north and eastern France to mark the cen­te­nary of the end of World War I, has re­cently crit­i­cised fel­low Euro­pean Union mem­bers for giv­ing up on EU prin­ci­ples.

‘Europe faces a risk’

He has no­tably sin­gled out Hun­gary and Poland whose na­tion­al­ist gov­ern­ments have clashed with Brus­sels, as well as Italy which has a pop­ulist gov­ern­ment in­clud­ing the far­right League party fig­ures.

Look­ing ahead to his tour of World War I bat­tle­fields, the pres­i­dent said he was look­ing for the lessons of his­tory, while seek­ing to pro­mote “a more sov­er­eign and mul­ti­lat­eral” Europe.

“Europe faces a risk - that of be­ing bro­ken up by na­tion­al­ist lep­rosy and of be­ing pushed around by for­eign pow­ers. And thereby los­ing its sovereignty,” he said.

Macron, who has been los­ing ground in the opin­ion polls, is at­tempt­ing to po­si­tion him­self as the cham­pion of cen­trist pol­i­tics and mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism in the run-up to Euro­pean par­lia­men­tary elec­tions in seven months’ time, say­ing he ex­pects the duel to be one be­tween “pro­gres­sives” and “na­tion­al­ists”.

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est Vi­vavoice poll, re­leased on Tues­day, Macron has lost 10 points since Au­gust with his ap­proval rating now at 26 per cent.

The poll, car­ried out be­tween Oc­to­ber 19 and 22, with a mar­gin of er­ror of be­tween 1.4 and 3.1 per cent, also sug­gested that nearly two out of three peo­ple have a “poor opin­ion” of him.— AFP

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