A letter from French generals addressed to President Emmanuel Macron and containing a strong call for the fight against Islamism, as well as the government's reaction to it, caused a real scandal in the republic and split society.
According to the authors, more than 8,000 soldiers signed the message. вЂњI fully condemn this initiative, which is contrary to Republican principles and calls into question the honor of the army,вЂќ said Prime Minister Jean Castex.
The Chief of the General Staff of France, Francois Lecointre, announced that 18 signatories who are in military service were brought to disciplinary responsibility. The measure of restraint and the degree of punishment for military personnel will be determined by a military tribunal. The generals who were the authors of the letter should, according to the Chief of the General Staff, be suspended from service.
вЂњThis is an unacceptable attempt at manipulation,вЂќ Lecointre said. вЂњI deny everyone the right to political participation, based on the fact of being in the service,вЂќ he continued, referring to the current order in France, according to which the military is prohibited from speaking out on political and religious topics.
At the same time, the former MP and granddaughter of the founder of the National Front, Marion Marechal-Le Pen, called the unrest вЂњsymptomaticвЂќ. вЂњI draw attention to the fact that the letter leads to more concern among the ministers than the recent riots in the suburbs of Paris,вЂќ added Marechal-Le Pen, referring to the recent incident in the commune of Regis, during which unknown persons smashed and painted 14 police cars.
вЂњThe appeal did not contain a call for a coup d'etat, it mercilessly stated the current state of affairs,вЂќ the politician added. She pointed out that in 1934, the future founder of the republic, Charles de Gaulle, as a lieutenant colonel, published a book вЂњThe Professional ArmyвЂќ, in which he spoke in an extremely harsh manner about the backwardness of the French army compared to the German one, and was not brought to any responsibility. Now, according to Marechal-Le Pen, in France, there is an absolutely opposite picture.
Public opinion researcher Jerome Fourquet noted that the letter of the generals was particularly actively supported by the population of small and medium-sized French cities, in which anti-Islamic sentiment is strongest after the terrorist attack in Rambouillet. According to a recent survey, 58% of respondents supported the appeal of the generals. At the same time, 84% of respondents noted that the level of violence in France has increased.
The decline of France was stated by 75% of respondents, the same number agreed with the statement that anti-racism and policies directed against racial discrimination lead to the opposite effect and reverse discrimination.
The vast majority of French people also stated that ghettos were formed in large cities, which are not subject to laws, and the police are not able to restore order in them.