The political situation in France has been tense for some time, the presidents are unpopular and often seem helpless, the military is in Africa fighting seemingly hopeless battles, and at home the economy is weakening while more and more of the country’s citizens are turning away from the state. The Corona crisis has exacerbated the situation, as it has everywhere else, and does not bode well for next year’s elections.
Marine Le Pen, on the other hand, as leader of the right-wing nationalist Rassemblement National, may be in for great times. A public letter to the president and members of the government and parliament, written by 19 former members of the military, including several generals, fits in with this. In it, they warn of future developments in France that could lead to a civil war, which in turn would call the military into action. Le Pen tweeted about it to signal her approval and thus brought the call, which initially received little attention, to media attention in the first place.
While some see the letter as an adequate analysis of the current situation in France, others see it as a veiled threat of a military coup, fuelled by the fact that the text was published exactly 50 years after the general’s coup during the Algerian war in 1961, which was intended to dissuade Charles de Gaulle from withdrawing from the North African state.
The French presidential elections in 2022 are likely to be the most important elections in Europe since the Brexit referendum, and possibly beyond.