17 February 2017
One of France’s presidential hopefuls, Emmanuel Macron, in a visit to Algeria this week condemned colonisation.
He described colonisation as a “crime against humanity” and “real barbarism”.
He said about colonisation that “it’s part of the past that we have to take the responsibility for by apologising to those [against] whom we have committed these acts.”
Macron explained that he thinks that it is inadmissible to glorify colonisation.
“Some wanted to do that in France ten years ago. You will never hear me say that. I have always condemned colonisation as an act of barbarism. Colonisation is part of French history.”
This is not the first time that Macron has been forthright with his comments on colonisation.
He gave an interview in November last year with the French weekly Le Point, in which the former minister of the economy said that during the colonisation of Algeria, “there was torture, but also the emergence of a state, wealth, middle classes. There were elements of civilisation and elements of barbarism.”
However, according to Macron, the comment was taken out of context. “I was not talking about Algeria alone. One must not read my remarks as elements that deny the fact of colonisation and its barbarism. If some read it as such, I apologise to them.”
Macron’s comments have been met with fury in France, with several Republican political leaders and the National Front strongly criticising his position.