ER Editor: We remind readers that anything of a political nature happening in France has been heavily colored by the publication of two op-ed pieces on the failures of the cultural Marxist-globalists in France by, first, retired military who named themselves, and, second, by a strongly-worded letter put out by anonymous but active military personnel.
Below is Alexander Mercouris’ take on what is going on with the Michel Barnier offer to temporarily halt the free movement of people through Schengen. As Martin Jay in this broader piece says, halting the hallowed Schengen agreement for a while could put another nail in the EU’s coffin since any exceptions for France would necessitate other ‘exceptions’ being made, to Schengen and other cornerstones of EU policy. See EU Has a New Crisis. A Frenchman Called Michel Barnier Who Has Held It to Hostage. Of note:
While hacks may argue over whether there is any strong argument that this would help the French economy – some taking the view that it would at least prevent a Le Pen win – others might say that it could help France, but at the EU’s expense. If France can renegotiate its place in the EU immigration deal, then others will follow and the overall implications will be an even bigger crisis for the EU. Critics will say: “If Schengen isn’t working and we can opt out of it, what else should we opt out of?”. It will make the EU look incredibly weak and ineffective. The well worn cliché of the EU being an arbiter of the “free movement of goods, services and people” will have to be downgraded to just goods and services – which many Eurosceptics have argued for years is its best option for long term survival. A trade block. Nothing more, nothing less.
And then there is even the bigger problem of the widening gap between southern EU member states and Brussels itself. A reworked Schengen – or a scrapped one – will mean that EU member states like Italy will be obliged to contain all of their refugees themselves, rather than allow them to cross the border into other countries in their search for a better deal. That alone, could be the spark which ignites a full-on Eurosceptic momentum in Italy which calls for an exit altogether from the European Union.
For a chuckle, readers may be interested in this January 2021 headline from the UK’s Daily Express (anti-EU), Michel Barnier receives ULTIMATE French election slapdown – ‘He makes Macron look good!‘ A perception which feeds into Mercouris’ interpretation below that the EU elite are truly desperate if they need to use Barnier.
For the mood in France, we offer this meme in a somewhat lighthearted way. Surrounding Macron are his former cabinet officials, plus current health minister seated on Macron’s left, who kicked off the virus plandemic:
Translation: Tests, Masks, Lockdown, Old People’s Homes – We Won’t Forget!
Mercouris (see video below) introduces the idea that the military are signalling to the elites ahead of time, ‘don’t expect us to help you out if this 2022 election result creates a problem for you’. Here are some of Mercouris’ main points:
- The timing of Michel Barnier’s offer to halt migration into the EU is curious given Macron’s many problems in France in the run-up to the election of 2022.
- Barnier was also pointing to the idea that Schengen free movement of people isn’t a good idea all the time. He’s talking of temporarily suspending it, not abolishing it.
- It’s ironic because during the Brexit talks, Schengen was regarded as sacred and couldn’t be touched. This about-face gives you some idea of who Barnier is.
- Barnier is a top EU official and its top trade negotiator. He was in charge of the trade talks with Britain during Brexit. He’s also French and not only close to the French establishment but very much part of it. The French establishment senses Macron is in very serious trouble, according to polls, with Le Pen ahead for the 2nd round. She’s winning strongly among younger people, who traditionally vote left (20-30’s), so Barnier realizes that what is giving Le Pen traction is immigration and the general impression in France, especially recently expressed by the thousands of retired and active military people, that the country is experiencing immigration it can’t control, especially with the problem of the French suburbs that law and order can’t control either. (ER: our own take on this is that it is way too little and 20 years too late. Plus we’ve just had 14 months of disastrous lockdown-style policies where people can see that small business owners and places of worship have been needlessly targeted. Young people have suffered greatly as a result of this, so it is hardly surprising they’re now a pro-Le Pen cohort.)
- Barnier is a fervent advocate of the globalist, integrationist agenda.
- Now it all reeks of panic. France can’t do anything about immigration into France because it doesn’t control its borders, the EU does. So the decision is to stop all immigration into the EU for 5 years. But the real goal is to help Macron win this increasingly difficult election.
- Mercouris: this idea has no hope of success, and the Germans won’t likely support it. But it is certainly an indicator about how desperate the French elite are.
The French Establishment ‘sense things are slipping out of control’
- It’s clear the establishment doesn’t have another
puppetcontender to put in his place at this late hour. It’ll be open season against Le Pen now to stop her.
- Re. the letters from the French military: this hasn’t been confirmed (Mercouris), but these letters were provoked precisely by a sense of desperation by the French elites and that these elites will do anything they can to retain control, with fear from the French military that they WILL BE USED TO MAINTAIN CONTROL, e.g. if Macron were to win the election, then the military might be brought in to quell riots. (ER: there is some reasonable suspicion, as there now is in many countries, that the last election which saw Macron put in power was rigged quite possibly with voting machines or some such technology. So his win would be entirely possible if such technology were deployed, despite his crippling unpopularity.)
- Christoforou: they’ll put out all the stops in media to smear Le Pen, but what can they really do to her? Haven’t they already tried everything? (ER: We remind readers that she recently won an old case against her for hate speech, having posted some ISIS pictures online to make a valid political point.) Mercouris: They’ve tried this for so long against her that she’s practically armoured against it. We’re now at a point where those who yet again attempt to smear Le Pen are going to look suspicious. They may try to fabricate some sort of financial scandal involving the judiciary against her, which could be dangerous. But French people are likely, given the mood in France, to see right through it. (ER: And the judiciary are very much a political tool here, having come down hard – to help Macron – against the Yellow Vests for simply going out on the street and protesting.) Now they’re resorting to playing the EU card against her.
So what scandal are they going to fabricate against Le Pen?
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