After the Annecy attack, the right and the far right compete for political recovery

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Olivier Marleix, the president of the republican deputies, and Eric Ciotti, the leader of the party, at the National embly, in Paris, on June 8, 2023. LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP…

After the Annecy attack, the right and the far right compete for political recovery

After the Annecy attack, the right and the far right compete for political recovery

Olivier Marleix, the president of the republican deputies, and Eric Ciotti, the leader of the party, at the National embly, in Paris, on June 8, 2023. Olivier Marleix, the president of the republican deputies, and Eric Ciotti, the leader of the party, at the National embly, in Paris, on June 8, 2023. LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP

The occasion was too good. While the government is struggling to define the contours of a new immigration lawthe right-wing and far-right opposition quickly seized the opportunity to the attack in Annecy to call for tougher reception conditions in France. The extreme rapidity of political recovery after an attack affecting children broke with the respectful reserve observed eleven years earlier, in the midst of the presidential campaign, following the Islamist attacks in Toulouse and Montauban committed by Mohammed Merah. At the time, a 48-hour truce was observed by the candidates.

This Thursday, it was enough for the Syrian nationality of the alleged ailant to be known for the tap to open the “lessons to be learned” from the tragedy. An eagerness in political recovery in no way hampered by the initial vagueness surrounding the course of Abdelmessih H., nor by the unknowns as to his motivations and his psychological state.

The revelation of the Christian denomination of this 32-year-old Syrian then embarred two political families particularly sensitive to the persecutions of Eastern Christians, and whose several leaders had too quickly designated an Islamist attack.

“There are bogus asylum seekers”

The leader of the National Rally (RN), Marine Le Pen, showed particular discretion on Thursday – at the risk of disappointing her supporters –, contenting herself with a tweet expressing his “dread”, without mentioning the migratory route of the author of the stab wounds. According to a now traditional pas de deux at the RN, the double finalist in the presidential election, all about her notabilisation, left it to Jordan Bardella to politically exploit the event.

“After the tragedy in Annecy, it is our entire migration policy, and a certain number of European rules, that must be called into question”, wrote on Twitter the president of the far-right party. The RN affirms that it does not want to question the right of asylum but considers that it is today “diverted and needs to be revisited”justifies the deputy Sébastien Chenu, affirming that“there are false political refugees, false asylum seekers who tell a story that does not correspond to their experience”.

The precipitation of Ciotti, the suspicions of Zemmour

The RN, like now Les Républicains (LR) or the Reconquest party! of Eric Zemmour, demands that asylum applications be made in the French embies of the countries of departure, including in countries at war. Problem: a sudden influx of refugees most often corresponds to the outbreak of a civil war, and in most cases, France closes its consular services. This was the case in Libya until 2021, it is still so in Yemen and Syria. The ban on refugees moving freely within the European Union, another RN proposal, also seems difficult to apply: it would imply a renegotiation of the Schengen agreements – a measure which would require the unanimity of the Member States – or, applied unilaterally , would expose France to sanctions from its partners.

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