‘French government is actually neoconservative pretending to fear rise of far-right’
European left-wing political leaders have held talks in Paris on pressing issues including economic reforms and far-right sentiment spreading across Europe.
The French President, Francois Hollande, chaired the meeting which was attended by EU foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini, European Parliament President Martin Schultz and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. The talks come as Europe is expected to finalize a migrant deal next week, to send thousands of refugees back to Turkey.
RT: How would you characterize this meeting? Why were we seeing left-wing European leaders gather in Paris?
Gearoid O'Colmain: This is about Social Democrat leaders meeting in Paris to try and find a way of formulating a program that they can sell to their electorate so that the parties in power, such as the French Socialist Party, can get reelected. And parties like Syriza outfit of Tsipras can pretend that they serve working-class interests. This is a meeting really to discuss how they are going to strategize their elections. It has absolutely nothing to do with left-wing ideology. These are all right-wing parties, these are imperialist parties, and they all support the foreign wars that have created the migration crisis. Social democracy traditionally has always functioned as an agency of the ruling class in the labor movement. And the function of people like Corbyn, Tsipras and Hollande is to sell capitalism to workers. And the problem with that is of course that workers in France certainly are not buying it. But they don’t have a coherent political representation which can tie all of the factors driving their misery together to explain why in fact they are experiencing the hardship that they are experiencing.
Because on the one hand you have these parties saying: “We want open borders. Refugees welcome.” And then they all support continuing the war in Syria. We know that the terrorists in Syria are still receiving arms. And Hollande’s administration has been the most belligerent French administration in this war. So, you are talking about essentially a French government which is a neoconservative and right-wing pretending to fear the rise of the far-right. I am not sure how you could be more right-wing than the Hollande government. This is a government that talks about human rights and decorates a Saudi prince with the Legion d'Honneur. I think that is a bit of a joke. So, this is essentially what this is about: an attempt by these politicians to stay in power or to get into power.
RT: The refugee crisis is also on the agenda, but Hollande says the EU must not grant Turkey concessions in exchange for stemming the flow of migrants. Is Europe likely to reach a deal?
GC: Hollande has spoken about the importance of human rights, but of course that is a part of French state propaganda. The French state continually sells this notion of human rights. I’ve already alluded to the fact that they decorate head choppers in Saudi Arabia in the most despotic kingdom in the world, so that just explains that when Hollande talks about the importance of not giving concessions to Turkey on human rights, that’s obviously ridiculous. I don’t think that the new deal with Turkey is going to change anything. The Turks are asking for a lot more actually. They want more money all the time. The Turkish regime is openly supporting ISIS in Syria. They are openly supporting Al-Nusra. It’s been shown over and over again. Obviously, you cannot possibly rely on them. The real fear in Europe right now is more in Balkans because a lot of countries in the Balkans don’t trust the Turkish regime because of its support for ISIS and terrorism and because of their colonial history. Let’s not forget that the Balkan countries were part of the Ottoman empire and there are very serious ethnic issues there.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.