‘Paris is garbage’: Frexit gains momentum in France after riots

The protestors voiced their opposition to the European Union and NATO, emphasizing their desire for France to regain its independence and decision-making powers. According to them, being part of the European Union restricts France’s ability to act and hampers its potential.

| Updated: 14 July, 2023 1:15 pm IST

PARIS: In recent years, a growing sentiment of discontent and frustration has been brewing in France, calling for the country’s exit from the European Union, popularly referred to as Frexit. Proponents of Frexit argue that France has lost its power and independence within the European Union and that it is time for the country to regain control over its destiny.

Speaking to individuals participating in a rally against the European Union, the sentiments were clear. One interviewee expressed their disillusionment with the current state of France, referring to Paris as “garbage” and the entire country as “a huge garbage.” They highlighted the need to compare the previous currency, the franc, to the euro, pointing out the perceived detrimental effects of the currency switch.

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“The European Union’s influence on immigration policies is a contentious issue. Arresting and repatriating migrants is prohibited by EU regulations, enforced by the European Court of Justice, affecting not only France but all Western countries. Globalist leaders like Macron, Sarkozy, Chirac, and Mitterrand have governed France, impacting the nation’s economy. The switch from francs to euros has also led to increased prices, such as the notable example of the baguette, where the exchange rate has significantly altered the cost of living. This situation has adversely affected France, with a notable rise in the overall price of goods and services,” said a  protester while speaking to The New Indian’s Aarti Tikoo. 

The rally aimed to draw parallels with the Brexit movement in the United Kingdom and advocated for France to follow suit. The protestors voiced their opposition to the European Union and NATO, emphasizing their desire for France to regain its independence and decision-making powers. According to them, being part of the European Union restricts France’s ability to act and hampers its potential.

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One of the key factors driving the push for Frexit is the dissatisfaction with decisions made against the will of the French people. The interviewee mentioned the 2005 referendum on the European Constitution, in which the majority voted against it. However, they claim that the political establishment, including figures like Sarkozy, disregarded the outcome, leading to a sense of betrayal and a belief that France’s voice is being stifled within the European Union.

Critics of the European Union argue that it imposes regulations that hinder France’s economic and political autonomy. They contend that decisions on matters such as production and laws are increasingly influenced by Brussels, undermining France’s ability to shape its own future. The sentiment of wanting to restore France’s independence and return to a time when the country had more control over its affairs is a common thread among Frexit supporters.

The issue of immigration also plays a role in the Frexit discourse. Some proponents believe that the European Union’s policies prevent France from taking decisive action in managing immigration and returning migrants to their home countries. They argue that these limitations imposed by the European Union and the European Court of Justice hinder France’s ability to address immigration concerns effectively.

Economically, concerns have been raised about the impact of France’s membership in the European Union. Interviewees referred to the switch from the franc to the euro, pointing out that the cost of living has significantly increased since the currency transition. The rising prices of everyday goods, such as the iconic French baguette, have left some feeling the pinch and yearning for the days of the franc.

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While the Frexit movement continues to gain traction among certain segments of the population, it is important to note that opinions on this matter vary widely in France. Supporters of the European Union argue that membership provides numerous benefits, such as access to a larger market and enhanced cooperation among member states.

As France navigates these debates surrounding its relationship with the European Union, the calls for Frexit serve as a reminder of the complex dynamics at play. The desire for independence, sovereignty, and a return to France’s perceived glory days lies at the core of the Frexit movement. Whether these voices will shape the future direction of the country remains to be seen, but their presence is undeniably a significant part of the ongoing political discourse in France.

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