Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Chile: Online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

ENCORE!

Art, sex, money, memory and manga

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Spat over Iran's UN ambassador hampers thawing relations with US

Read more

FOCUS

China trade deal: Is Taiwan's identity under threat?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Call it a caretaker government'

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Pornography without borders is key benefit of EU, says French MEP

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Google Glass sale a test of consumer interest

Read more

  • Rescue effort under way as ferry sinks off S. Korean coast

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to slash spending

    Read more

  • Putin says Ukraine 'on brink of war' as separatists hoist Russian flags

    Read more

  • Brazilian club Atletico loses patience with Anelka before he even arrives

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

  • French court drops ‘hate speech’ case against Bob Dylan

    Read more

  • Algeria rights crackdown slammed ahead of election

    Read more

  • Iraq closes notorious Abu Ghraib jail over security fears

    Read more

  • Berlusconi sentenced to community service for tax fraud

    Read more

  • In ‘Tom at the Farm’, Xavier Dolan blends Hitchcock and homoeroticism

    Read more

  • US to mark one year since Boston Marathon bombing

    Read more

  • India's Supreme Court establishes third gender category

    Read more

  • Bluefin-21 'mini-sub' redeploys for Malaysian jet

    Read more

  • Paris hotel that hosted Holocaust survivors shuts for renovation

    Read more

  • France looks to lift ailing economy with business-friendly diplomacy

    Read more

France

Outrage after call to scrap ‘Bastille Day’ military parade

©

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-07-19

The vast majority of France’s politicians are not amused – former judge and Green presidential candidate Eva Joly (pictured) wants the annual military parade on July 14 to stop, and for “children and pensioners” to march instead.

A charismatic Green politician has done a rare thing and united the entire political spectrum against her – for daring to suggest the annual “Bastille Day” military parade should be scrapped.

Every year the French celebrate their national day - or “Fête Nationale” - on July 14 by watching soldiers, sailors and airmen trooping down the Champs Elysées in Paris.

A day after this year’s festivities, Eva Joly, a Green politician and contender in the 2012 presidential election, said she wanted the annual show of military strength scrapped in favour of a “citizen’s parade”.

Joly, a diminutive Norwegian-born anti-corruption campaigner and former investigating magistrate, told BFM TV: “This parade is something from the past. I want to see children, students and seniors parading together.”

But to make that statement in the week that six French soldiers were killed in Afghanistan – the single-biggest loss of life for the French army since 2008 –  was ill-timed and controversial. The condemnation was immediate.

On the extreme right, National Front (FN) leader Marine le Pen told RTL radio that Joly, who came to France in the 1960’s as an au pair and later obtained citizenship, “failed completely to understand the strong link that exists between the French people and their armed forces.”

Even politicians of less extreme political orientations made reference to the fact that she had not been born in France.

“It’s time for her to go back to Norway!”

Lionel Tardy, Haute-Savoie Member of Parliament for the ruling (centre-right) UMP party tweeted on Thursday night: “Eva Joly wants to scrap the July 14 parade – it’s time for her to go back to Norway!”

Henri Guiano, a top aide to President Nicolas Sarkozy, of remarked on Europe 1: “I find it pathetic... it is a deep insult to those who have died for our country over the centuries.”

On Friday Prime Minister Francois Fillon added to the chorus of disapproval by stating that she, “does not have a very long personal background of French culture.”

On the left, Socialist Party presidential hopeful Segolene Royal, herself the daughter of an army officer, said it was “a very bad idea to challenge our traditions”.

Former French Prime Minster Laurent Fabius also a Socialist, told Europe 1 the annual parade “is useful to show that we need a national defence force and that our military act for us.”

Eva Joly made a name for herself as an investigating judge and tireless anti-corruption campaigner in France.

She left the country in 2002 to work as an international envoy for Norway.

She came back to France in 2008, convinced that only by entering politics could she continue the fight against corruption.

“I was a magistrate for 20 years, a diplomat for Norway for seven more and I have learned a lot,” Joly told FRANCE 24 in February 2010 on the eve of local elections in France.

“I want to change power structures within society. I am desperate to see a more just and more united society.”
 

 

Date created : 2011-07-15

  • FRANCE

    Bastille celebrations clouded by Afghanistan deaths

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Sarkozy calls for security meeting after troops killed

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)