“Anti-US and NATO opposition on the rise in France”

“Anti-US and NATO opposition on the rise in France”

“In the wake of the economic crisis in France, anti-US (the accepted center of the neoliberal order) and anti-NATO policies and perspectives are on the rise.”

United World International expert Onur Sinan Güzaltan evaluated the upcoming Presidential elections to be held in France in conversation with Sputniknews.

Below, we present the interview as published by Sputniknews, the original text can be read here.

Subtitles were set by UWI.

Like the rest of Europe, the ‘new right’ movements, which are finding a lot of support, especially among the working class and middle class in France, have become a dynamic power element in the country’s politics.

The Turkish political scientist Onur Sinan Güzaltan gave an interview to a journalist from Sputniknews regarding this question. 

The election race in France is between the liberal left and “the new right”

According to Güzaltan, the electoral race in France is dominated by parties representing the liberal left and the New Right.

Güzaltan describes the potential candidates before the Presidential elections as follows;

“When we look at the political picture in France, just like the 2002 and 2017 elections, we see the liberal left wing led by President Emmanuel Macron on the one hand and the ‘new right’ political movements represented by Marine Le Pen and surprise candidate Eric Zemmour on the other.

Valeri Pecresse, on the other hand, is a spokesperson of typical center-right discourses. Although Pecresse is ranked second place in surveys, his popularity is likely to decline in the coming period.

On the other hand, it should be noted that French Communist Party candidate Fabien Roussel’s rhetoric against the US and NATO and emphasis on class resonates with a portion of the French people.

Jean Luc Melenchon, the common candidate of large and small left parties, also has a chance to get more votes than he did in the last elections.”

New right parties are popular among the working and middle class”

Güzaltan defined new right movements as a dynamic force in French politics. He touched on about the makeup of these parties and their impact on French politics as follows:

“These movements are based on discourses that emphasize distance and sovereignty against the US, the EU and NATO in foreign policy, and policies that put the burden of the increasingly heavy economic, social and cultural crisis on immigrants in domestic politics.

The rise of the ‘New Right’ has pushed even liberals like Macron to follow more independent policies on US and NATO issues, as well as tougher policies against immigrants.

It should be noted that since World War II, there has been an antipathy in France for the majority of people against right-wing discourses that are outside the political center.”

The French question

According to Güzaltan, anti-US and NATO policies are on the rise in France. Guzaltan expresses the reasons for and consequences of the situation as follows:

“In the wake of the economic crisis in France, anti-US (the accepted center of the neoliberal order) and anti-NATO policies and perspectives are on the rise.”

While Macron and the like argue that the EU is a force to balance the US, left parties and new right-wing movements argue that the EU is as responsible for the crisis as the US, and this opinion is growing in popularity. “

France’s view on the Russia-Ukraine crisis

Güzaltan states that the anti-US rise in France can also be understood from the attitude taken in the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Guzaltan continues as follows;

“In terms of reflecting the anti-US mood in France as a whole, Macron’s economy minister Bruno le Maire said, in connection with the Ukraine crisis, ‘Let’s not let the Americans drag us into a position we don’t want. It is worth noting that our interests are different from those of the USA.’

It should also be noted that there is a vein in the French army and bureaucracy, inherited from the Charles de Gaulle era, against the US and NATO, while defending friendship with Russia.

The US is aware of this situation and is doing its best to undermine Euro-Russia relations, as the Ukraine crisis shows. It is worth emphasizing this point: The US aims to undermine European-Russian relations through the Ukraine crisis.”

It seems impossible for France to leave the EU”

In the interview, Guzaltan also made evaluations about the perspective of the candidates to the European Union before the Presidential elections.

“Center-left and right candidates agree to move on with the EU. The cracks over the EU issue come from the ‘new right’ candidates Le Pen and Eric Zemmour, but it is difficult to say whether or not they would actually withdraw from the EU if they come into power.

The French political elite, like the rest of Europe, is aware that we are reaching a global breaking point…

It would be more beneficial to enter such a period when the USA was losing power and Russia and China were gaining strength, and it would be more beneficial to find a place in the reshaped world in this way. They know it will be easier. Therefore, no matter which candidate is elected, we are in a process where France will not easily back out of EU policies.”

Relations between Turkey and France are unlikely to improve in the near future”

Relations between Turkey and France have been bad around issues such as Islamophobia, the Eastern Mediterranean, and immigration policies, points of tension that have been exacerbated in recent years.

Güzaltan says, “The two countries are on different fronts in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and Africa” and, “Of course, this competition also has negative effects on Turkish citizens living in France. There is intense criticism towards Turkey among the right and left political movements in France, and frankly, there is no political voice advocating for improving relations with Turkey.

It is difficult to say that relations between Ankara and Paris will improve in the coming period.”

Onur Sinan Güzaltan
Onur Sinan Güzaltan was born in Istanbul in 1985. He had his Bachelors's degree in Law, from the Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marne Universty /Paris XII and a Master's degree in International and European Law. He got his certificate of diploma equivalence at Galatasaray University. Later, he got a Master's degree in International Trade Law, at the Institut de Droit des Affaires Internationales, founded jointly by the Sorbonne Universty and the Cairo Universty. In this process, he had served as the Cairo representative for the Aydinlik Newspaper. He has several articles and television streams within the international press, in such as People's Daily, Al Yaum, Al Ahram, Russia Today FranceAl Youm Al Sabea. In addition to being the author of the Tanrı Bizi İster Mi?, a work that studies the 2011-2013 political period in Egypt, he had also contributed to the multi-author study titled Ortadoğu Çıkmazında Türkiye, with an article that focused on the Turkish-Egyptian relations. While currently working as a lawyer, he also writes a weekly column for Aydinlik Newspaper on the subject of international politics and geopolitics.

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March 2023