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Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Claude Guéant's "France doesn't need foreign bricklayers and waiters" racist remarks

Proving once again that he is in no way a racist and only makes comments that are factually correct and amount to the truth because he says so, France's interior minister Claude Guéant was back on familiar territory at the weekend.

Claude Guéant (from Wikipedia)

This time it was to tell the French that the country didn't need immigrants to fill positions as waiters in restaurants or builders because France already had enough people to fill the vacancies.

In a marvellous train of logic that seems to have become a Guéant speciality, the interior minister pointed to the country's 2.6 million unemployed, some of whom could presumably take up those low-paid jobs in restaurants and learn to flex their muscles as builders.

What he said during a radio interview on Sunday showed a true understanding of the nature of unemployment and how to get people back to work.

"Those people who are looking for a job cannot refuse to take up positions indefinitely and should have their benefit cut if they don't at some point take what they're being offered," he said.

"It's true that we need immigrants with skills and talents," he said, seeming to backtrack on comments he made a couple of weeks ago on the need to reduce legal immigration; comments which were also criticised by some within his own party at the time.

But remember this is Claude Guéant and what might at first appear to be a softening in tone turns out to be anything other and that.

"There are about 2,000 people we really need every year who have those skills and talents," he continued.

"But we don't need bricklayers or waiters because France already has the resources to fill those posts."

Ah the sensitivity and insight of the man!

Of course Gueant would probably deny that his comments are aimed at currying favour with those inclined to vote for the far-right Front National during the next presidential and parliamentary elections in 2012.

But that's exactly what Dominique Sopo, the president of the anti-racist non-governmental organisation SOS Racisme, thinks are behind the interior minister's thinking.

"There's currently a trend to create among the French a mistrust of foreigners as part of an attempt to appeal to those who might be attracted to the Front National," he said.

"But the direct consequence of these remarks is the rise in popularity of Marine Le Pen (the leader of the Front National) to an unprecedented level, one year away from the presidential elections."

Guéant might not yet have taken up the tongue-in-cheek offer Le Pen made of "honorary membership" of her party in March.

That offer came after his comments that the French were becoming worried about feeling at home in their own country.

But he's going the right way about securing himself another governmental job - maybe even as prime minister - should the unthinkable happen next year and the French return a far-right president: be that Le Pen or Nicolas Sarkozy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought Gueant was Interior Minister, not minister in charge of employment and economic affairs!

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