“I think that our country is being colonized (…) economically, religiously and migratory by the migrants who arrive on our soil”, the president of Debout France told his host. He said he would like “the French to react,” and deplored the “hundreds of Salafist mosques” being erected in France.
“I feel that the French must be proud to be French, at some point they must say stop,” he added. One of the other guests invited by Laurent Ruquier, the black singer Angélique Kidjo, was outraged.
“It’s terrible to hear people who want to govern this country speak of unity, while in fact you divide,” she told Nicolas Dupont-Aignan. To wild applause of the public, she continued: “You telling us that France is being colonized, is an insult”.
Dupont-Aignan ran for President of France in 2012 and 2017 and endorsed the runner-up Marine Le Pen in the 2017 second round. He is closely linked to the European political party Europeans United for Democracy.
“I love France, I say today that the policy that is being waged is destroying our country and leading the French to mass poverty. Loving France is defending it and it is dying for it,” Dupont-Aignan had tweeted earlier.
Tensions were evident during the interview on France2, when Nicolas Dupont-Aignan reminded his critics of “the beautiful neighbourhoods” in which they live. “If I had been elected in 2017, I would have allowed the migrant camps to be set up in the Luxembourg Gardens,” the politician mocked some of the invitees who own expensive apartments near the gardens, but he was quickly silenced.
Visibly very angry, the wealthy black singer denied that she belonged to a “small class” of privileged people.
Laurent Ruquier, also very angry, screamed rudely at his conservative guest: “Shut up!”
Ruquier added: “You have to wait 25 minutes (…) and you’re worse than Ms. Le Pen!” Finally, another guest Bernie Bonvoisin, insulted the president of Debout France: “You have ruined this for everyone here!”.
The issue of immigration was at the forefront during the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron – his first official meeting – at the Vatican on Tuesday.
Macron and Pope Francis met in the Vatican library for the longest conversation between Francis and a head of state, AFP reported.
The pope has never met any president or head of state for longer than 50 minutes. He spoke to Macron for 57 minutes.
Former US president Barack Obama spent 50 minutes and his successor Donald Trump 30 minutes with the pontiff.
This week, as if on cue, street artist Banksy murals popped up all over Paris city centre promoting immigration, a gay lifestyle and open borders.
According to the editor of an art website Artistik Rezo, Nicolas Laugero Lasserre: “It’s an extraordinary chance to have Banksy in Paris. As always his interventions arrive at a key political moment, urging citizens and government to change the paradigm on the migration issue.”
The first work appeared on June 20 – World Refugee Day – a Jewish holiday.
“Art experts” hope the works are a criticism of negative attitudes toward migration, the London newspaper, Metro reported.
One mural depicts a black child spray painting pink floral wallpaper over a black swastika, while another by the anonymous Bristol-based artist, depicts Napoleon as he crosses the Alps heading for Italy in 1800. The mural is a pastiche of an historic painting by Jean-Louis David, one of the most iconic in French 19th-century art, as Napoleon’s head is covered in an Islamic veil.
Eritrean refugees told AFP that Banksy was trying to help them. He has indeed openly been a long-time supporter of the migrant cause.
The Socialist mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, praised Banksy’s intervention on Monday. “Sometimes an image is worth a thousand words. Humanity and pragmatism rather than populism,” she tweeted.