President Charles de Gaulle on the Algerian Crisis

President Charles de Gaulle on the Algerian Crisis

The Mutual Broadcasting System presents a simultaneous translation of a speech being delivered to the French people by President Charles de Gaulle on the uprising in the French colony of Algeria. In 1954, Algeria's National Liberation Front began a guerrilla war against France in order to gain independence and establish self-rule.


Chronology

Several daft subplots rub up disconsolately against each other, mostly having been fictionalised or transplanted from another point in history. For example, it is true that Rainier's sister Antoinette tried to take the throne from him – but that was in 1950, not 1962. In a last-ditch attempt to knit some of its fraying strands together, the film suggests that General de Gaulle is attempting to conquer Monaco because Grace wants to be in a Hitchcock film. Nope. Finally, Grace figures out how to end the war (there wasn't a war) – throw a party!


Contents

The Algerian War was started by members of the National Liberation Front (FLN) with the Toussaint Rouge attacks on 1 November 1954. Conflicts proliferated in France, including the May 1958 Algerian crisis that led to the fall of the Fourth Republic. [4] French forces used brutal means of attempting to suppress Algerian nationalists, alienating support in metropolitan France and discrediting French prestige abroad. [5] [6]

In 1960, French President Charles de Gaulle agreed to negotiations with the FLN after major demonstrations in Algiers and other cities. A 1961 referendum on allowing self-determination for Algeria was approved by 75% of voters (including 70% of those voting in Algeria). Negotiations concluded with the signing of the Évian Accords in March 1962, which were approved by 91% of voters in a referendum on 8 April. [7]

The referendum question was phrased:

"Do you want Algeria to become an independent state, co-operating with France under the conditions defined in the declarations of 19 March 1962?"

Choice Votes %
For 5,975,581 99.72
Against 16,534 0.28
Invalid/blank votes 25,565
Total 6,017,680 100
Registered voters/turnout 6,549,736 91.87
Source: Direct Democracy

In accordance with the Évian accords (Chapter III.3) [8] France was allowed to maintain its Mers El Kébir naval base for fifteen years. However, all forces were withdrawn in 1967.

Canadian historian John C. Cairns stated in 1962 that: [9]

"In some ways the last year has been the worse. Tension has never been higher. Disenchantment in France at least has never been greater. The mindless cruelty of it all has never been more absurd and savage. This last year, stretching from the hopeful spring of 1961 to the ceasefire of March 18, 1962 spanned a season of shadow boxing, false threats, capitulation and murderous hysteria. French Algeria died badly. Its agony was marked by panic and brutality as ugly as the record of European imperialism could show. In the spring of 1962 the unhappy corpse of empire still shuddered and lashed out and stained itself in fratricide. The whole episode of its death, measured at least seven and half years, constituted perhaps the most pathetic and sordid event in the entire history of colonialism. It is hard to see how anybody of importance in the tangled web of the conflict came out looking well. Nobody won the conflict, nobody dominated it."


Algerian War

Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

Algerian War, also called Algerian War of Independence, (1954–62) war for Algerian independence from France. The movement for independence began during World War I (1914–18) and gained momentum after French promises of greater self-rule in Algeria went unfulfilled after World War II (1939–45). In 1954 the National Liberation Front (FLN) began a guerrilla war against France and sought diplomatic recognition at the UN to establish a sovereign Algerian state. Although Algerian fighters operated in the countryside—particularly along the country’s borders—the most serious fighting took place in and around Algiers, where FLN fighters launched a series of violent urban attacks that came to be known as the Battle of Algiers (1956–57). French forces (which increased to 500,000 troops) managed to regain control but only through brutal measures, and the ferocity of the fighting sapped the political will of the French to continue the conflict. In 1959 Charles de Gaulle declared that the Algerians had the right to determine their own future. Despite terrorist acts by French Algerians opposed to independence and an attempted coup in France by elements of the French army, an agreement was signed in 1962, and Algeria became independent. See also Raoul Salan.


Award-winning streaming service of full-length docs for the likes of history buffs, royal watchers, cinema aficionados & train enthusiasts. Visit britishpathe.tv British Pathé now represents the Reuters historical collection, which includes more than 136,000 items from 1910 to 1984. Start exploring!

Stubborn partner

France had been a stubborn partner in the American-led Western alliance from the start. De Gaulle, as wartime leader of Free France, had insisted on being treated as an equal by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt — but he wasn’t. France tried, and failed, to get its colonies, particularly Algeria, to be recognized as territories that would be covered under the terms of the North Atlantic Treaty.

Britain and France drew different lessons from the perceived American betrayal during the Suez Crisis, when President Dwight Eisenhower forced them and Israel to withdraw from Egypt. The British accepted that their superpower days were over and hugged the Americans closer. The French, who still thought they were one-third of a triumvirate that ruled the West, took the Special Relationship as a slight.


Lessons from history #11 – The Monaco crisis from 1962-1963 and the emancipation of tax havens

Fabien Hassan is an analyst for the 2° Investing Initiative, a Paris-based think tank working for the alignement of the financial sector with the objectives of emission reductions to mitigate climate change. Fabien holds a degree in Economics from the Ecole Normale Supérieure de la rue d’Ulm, in Paris. He also studied in Sciences-Po Paris, Princeton University, and the Free University of Berlin. Read his blog here.

Image credits:

In the early 1960s, tensions between France and Monaco culminated into a blockade of the city-state ruled by Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly. The absurdity of the episode has provided inspirational material for filmmakers, advocates of fiscal reform, and observers of global finance. This article tries to explain the origins of the crisis, and compare the treatment of tax havens by bigger countries before and after the globalisation of capital flows.

A fight for human rights or fiscal privileges?

In 1963, Easter was a great relief for the small city of Monte Carlo. The day before, the French government officially decided to remove the blockade implemented six months before, in October 1962. French and Italian tourists were able to spend the Easter weekend in Monaco. Polemists stopped – for a while – demanding the exclusion of AS Monaco from the French football championship, and things went back to normal.

The story of how France considered the use of force against a country of 23,000 (Girardeau, 1962) is fascinating. It was picked up in 2014 by film director Olivier Dahan, who placed it at the centre of the plotline in ‘Grace de Monaco’, starring Nicole Kidman. Princess Grace Kelly is pictured as the symbol of the resistance of an oppressed people, subject to the mood changes of a dictatorial General de Gaulle.

Advocates of fiscal justice still refer to the Monaco crisis with nostalgia (Le Monde, 2013). So was Prince Rainier’s opposition to France a matter of sovereignty and independence against a greater power, or does the blockade reflect a time when France was ready to stand for its values of fiscal equity?

Real political tensions, a farce blockade

Despite the dramatic tone of Oliver Dahan’s movie, the reality of the blockade was quite ludicrous. In October 1962, at the peak of the Cuba missile crisis, the world came very close to a nuclear war between the USA and the USSR. In this context, on October 13, 1962, French newspaper Le Monde unsurprisingly described the blockade as having the “atmosphere of a massive prank”. Six French customs officials blocked the road, which created massive traffic jams on the coastal road to Nice. People were essentially free to cross the border, but the extra time did cause inconveniences. Monaco is only 2.02 km 2 . Monégasque citizens have to cross the border very often. For example, in 1962, public buses were parked on a parking lot in France at the end of the day to free some space.

In fact, the real blockade only lasted a few hours (Montebourg & Peillon, 2000). However, the degradation of the relationship with France had economic consequences. There was a small but thriving pharmaceutical activity in Monaco, with 350 employees. The press estimated that a third of them lost their jobs in November 1962 (Mourlane, 2005). Nevertheless, the State had enough resources to absorb the pressure for some time.

Beyond the ridicule, it is worth getting into the details of the story, as the interaction between France and Monaco in the 1960s may inform the debates on tax evasion in the 21st century.

Political tensions with France started in 1959, when Rainier decided to suspend the Constitution. Several diplomatic moves were aimed at getting US support, in the context of De Gaulle’s France being more and more anti-American.

In Monaco, residents have been exempted from direct taxation since 1869 (Principality of Monaco, 2010). After World War II, the tax exemptions became more aggressive and Monaco entered a period of prosperity (Montebourg & Peillon, 2000). With decolonisation, significant flows of capital had to be repatriated to Europe. Monaco greatly benefited from those inflows (Bézias, 2007).

In 1962, the crisis was triggered by a very technical provision on the nullity of share sales under certain conditions (Mourlane, 2005). The provision was introduced specifically to enable the state of Monaco to regain control on Radio Monte-Carlo (RMC) and Télé Monte-Carlo (TMC), two leading media outlets in France (Bézias, 2007). The French government owned the shares of the companies through various subsidiaries. This was a political matter: with the war in Algeria, media were closely controlled in France, so broadcasters from Monaco and Luxembourg (RTL) enjoyed more freedom and the right to air advertisement. The amusing fact is that the transmitters of RMC and TMC were located on a nearby hill… in France.

Rainier quickly abandoned his plans to control RMC. The concession did not calm a vexed French government, which moved on to demand direct taxation of exporting companies and French citizens residing in Monaco. Why was the Principality so reluctant to implement direct taxes?

The strategy of a micro-state

According to Prince Rainier in an interview to France Soir, “Direct taxation would harm the very roots of our sovereignty” (quoted by Mourlane, 2005). This is a surprising statement: historians have shown that modern states are built on their capacity to raise taxes and issue debt backed by future taxes. The circulation of liquid, reliable sovereign debt enables private financial markets to emerge, a decisive step toward economic development (North & Weingast, 1989). The demonstration works very well for seventeenth-century England, not so much for a micro-state such as Monaco.

On the contrary, as stated by Rainier, the sovereignty of a micro-state shows most when it diverges from the fiscal regime of its neighbours. Since there is no real border between Monaco and France, this creates a massive incentive for companies to locate their activities where taxes are lower.

Monaco is too small to host manufacturing activities, or even significant office space. Companies cannot locate activities there. The strategy for a micro-state has to focus on financial flows. Taxes on capital gains from individuals and corporations have to be very low in order to attract a critical mass. For the neighbouring power, such as France, this is only acceptable to the extent that it does not deprive the State of resources.

The strategy is different with medium-sized states. For instance, Ireland has very low corporate taxes to attract companies such as Dell and Google. According to the Irish press, Google has approximately 2,500 employees in Dublin, a small figure if compared to the size of the Irish economy, but that is already too much for Monaco.

The worst case, which provides the most room for fiscal optimisation, is obviously the combination of medium-sized states with low corporate taxes to locate activities, and micro-states with very low taxes on capital to locate profits.

The complicity of the great power

The crisis between France and Monaco came to a – temporary – end in 1963. The compromise is essentially still in force (the last substantial revision was in 2003 with a new bilateral tax agreement). French residents of Monaco do not benefit from the exemption anymore: they have to pay their income taxes to France. This is not trivial: despite a constant decline, the French population of Monaco still outnumbers Monégasque citizens (Principauté de Monaco, 2010). Similarly, corporations that earn more than 25% of their revenues outside Monaco are subject to direct corporate taxes. Today, those are still the two main exceptions to the principle of no direct taxation.

The compromise is exemplary of the relationship between big countries and “their” tax havens. France accepted and even encouraged the presence of a low-tax financial centre at its border. The only condition was the taxation of French citizens and corporations doing business in France. As long as foreigners from third countries came to Monaco and contributed to the economic and cultural dynamism of the French Riviera, tax justice was not an issue.

A well-known fact about tax havens is that nearly every major country used to have one “under control”: the Virgin Islands and Jersey for the United Kingdom, Delaware in the United States, Monaco and Andorra for France, Luxembourg for Germany and the European Union, Hong Kong for China, etc. This is what makes the fight against tax havens so complicated geopolitically.

Indeed, in the world of the 1960s, those major countries all had an interest in controlling a low-tax territory. This would attract financial flows, which in turn benefit the economy. International capital flows from developed countries were controlled, so tax evasion was limited.

Digitalisation, globalisation and the removal of capital controls completely changed that landscape. Tax havens were emancipated from their patron state. Now every big country is a net loser of tax revenues due to tax havens. But nobody wants to start by cleaning up their own tax haven. Exemplarity is not exactly the leading principle of international negotiations.

The other Monacos of the world

Is the case of Monaco too exceptional to be significant? Other states of comparable size have had a tremendous impact on international financial flows. The population of the British Virgin Islands is 25,000. Jersey is bigger, with almost 100,000. The Cayman Islands, often pinpointed as one of the most important offshore financial centres, only has a population of approximately 50,000. Just as Scotland has more sheep than people, small tax havens usually have more incorporated companies than their population.

By definition, hidden money is hidden from the state. So it is hard to evaluate the amount at stake. One original attempt is based on identifying inconsistencies between the official balances of payments of all states in the world, and attributing those inconsistencies to tax evasion. The result is an astonishing €5,800bn hidden in tax havens, resulting in a loss of €130bn of tax revenues every year (Zucman, 2003).

Zucman recommends direct commercial sanctions against non-cooperative states. This may seem too radical and unpractical (Chavagneux, 2013). There are also diplomatic ways, which abide by international law and sometimes prove efficient.

In 2009, Monaco signed a commitment to cooperate with OECD members. Hence, the country was removed from the list of “uncooperative tax havens” of the OECD. The list is now empty. This is ambivalent: it shows that international pressure can force every single country in the world to cooperate, it also shows that the OECD’s definition of tax havens is extremely narrow.

Moreover, tax havens are not necessarily small islands and micro-states. In 2013, the Tax Justice Network, an independent international network, published the Financial Secrecy Index, which ranks jurisdictions according to their secrecy and the scale of their activities. Interestingly, Switzerland was ranked first in 2013. That same year, the OECD boasted an agreement designed to put an end to bank secrecy.

Even more striking: Luxembourg and Germany, two founding members of the European Union, were ranked in the top 10. So any action against the opacity of international finance will have to come from those powerful states.

Hopes for the future: actions of the OECD and the European Union

There are two kinds of tax evasion. The first one is criminal, based on secret transfers of money and evident fraud. International cooperation agreements aim to tackle the problem of opacity and enable judges to request specific information. The other kind of tax evasion is much harder to fight: it is an abuse of tax optimisation, where companies and individuals transfer money offshore to escape tax. Usually, tax authorities have access to all the information, but they struggle to demonstrate any misdeeds.

With the help of specialised tax advisors, multinational corporations have built sophisticated schemes. Common features are the transfer of immaterial goods such as property rights to empty shells incorporated in low-tax countries. Profits from activities are then transferred to those entities as royalties for licencing rights. This principle can also be applied to material goods. Transfer pricing within groups have become a massive arm of tax evasion.

A single country will often struggle to prove that a scheme is illegal. Licencing rights are standard practice only abuse can be sanctioned. Assessing the legality of such schemes requires a view of the global activities of a corporation. Furthermore, states are reluctant to punish nationally-headquartered firms, over which the level of control is the greatest, as this would harm their competitiveness.

Hence the interest of involving supranational organisations. In 2014, the European Commission launched an investigation into the transfer pricing agreements affecting the corporate taxation of Apple (Ireland), Starbucks (Netherlands) and Fiat (Luxembourg). With competition law as legal basis, the case represents a very significant shift: after decades of using competition law exclusively to remove regulation, the European Union is finally concerned about fair tax competition. Tax exemptions could be considered as “state aid”, just like subsidies. The qualification would trigger a legal regime designed to prevent states from creating artificial advantages for national companies to the detriment of competing Member States, in a customs union where goods cannot be stopped or taxed at the border. More information on the case is expected in Spring 2015.

Meanwhile, great expectations rely on the BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) Action launched by the OECD and the G20 in 2013. BEPS refers to: “tax planning strategies that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules to artificially shift profits to low or no-tax locations where there is little or no economic activity, resulting in little or no overall corporate tax being paid”. This focus on legal strategies based on loopholes is much more radical than the fight against non-cooperative tax havens and money laundering. This is where the big money is.

For the OECD, “in an increasingly interconnected world, national tax laws have not always kept pace with global corporations, fluid movement of capital, and the rise of the digital economy, leaving gaps that can be exploited to generate double non-taxation. This undermines the fairness and integrity of tax systems”. The statement may seem obvious but it represents a significant improvement and shows increased awareness of the shortfalls for governments.

In a multipolar, open economy without controls on capital flows, sending six army officers to the Monaco border would not make a difference, as it did in the 1960s. International cooperation has not worked well until now, but the pressure on public finances in Europe and the United States might force advanced economies to take steps and stop the leakage of capital to tax havens. Organising more OECD workshops on double-taxation is certainly not as romantic as trying to starve Princess Grace Kelly, but, as de Gaulle said in 1944, “The most noble principles in the world live only through action“.


France Still Struggles With the Shadow of the ‘War Without a Name’

Sixty years on, the ghosts of the Algerian War still loom large over French politics, the country’s debate over immigration, and its relationship with Algiers. Emmanuel Macron, the first French president born after the end of the brutal colonial conflict, seems more inclined than any of his predecessors to “ look history in the eyes ” and has sought to heal the “ wounds of the past .” But if the ghosts of the Algerian War continue to shape the conversation about France’s identity, it’s largely because the political class has decided to bestow upon the conflict—and its legacy—an outsized role.

The war, from 1954 to 1962, is back in the center of the French political conversation this year thanks to the release last month of a highly anticipated government-commissioned report meant to figure out how to bridge the rifts still existing within France and across the Mediterranean. The author, acclaimed historian Benjamin Stora, suggested plenty of symbolic measures, such as returning to Algiers the sword of a 19th-century resistance hero. Other recommendations included a better understanding and education of the war and French occupation in Algeria, which dates back to 1830.

Sixty years on, the ghosts of the Algerian War still loom large over French politics, the country’s debate over immigration, and its relationship with Algiers. Emmanuel Macron, the first French president born after the end of the brutal colonial conflict, seems more inclined than any of his predecessors to “ look history in the eyes ” and has sought to heal the “ wounds of the past .” But if the ghosts of the Algerian War continue to shape the conversation about France’s identity, it’s largely because the political class has decided to bestow upon the conflict—and its legacy—an outsized role.

The war, from 1954 to 1962, is back in the center of the French political conversation this year thanks to the release last month of a highly anticipated government-commissioned report meant to figure out how to bridge the rifts still existing within France and across the Mediterranean. The author, acclaimed historian Benjamin Stora, suggested plenty of symbolic measures, such as returning to Algiers the sword of a 19th-century resistance hero. Other recommendations included a better understanding and education of the war and French occupation in Algeria, which dates back to 1830.

The É lysée said it would take “concrete actions” based on the report, beginning with the establishment of a “memory and truth commission.” But, in line with Stora’s conclusions, it ruled out any official apology for France’s colonial past. Despite that pledge, which parroted a conservative battle cry, Macron and Stora immediately came under fire from the far-right, with members of Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party denouncing “yet another sign of weakness” and an attempt to declare a “memory war” on the French.

Statements like these show just how divisive the issue remains in France today. The Algerian War was one of the most brutal conflicts in the history of decolonization. Hundreds of thousands of Algerians and about 25,000 French troops lost their lives. Crucially, by the time violence broke out, 1 million European settlers (the pieds-noirs , “black feet”) lived on Algerian land, which contributed to Paris’s reluctance to let go. The war was a vicious insurgency and counterinsurgency, with the Algerian National Liberation Front escalating a terrorism campaign and the French military resorting to the systematic use of torture to thwart the insurgency. The war only ended when President Charles de Gaulle, at first the hope of French hard-liners, took the painful step of negotiating peace with the insurgents and ending French occupation.

Various groups affected by the Algerian War have cultivated their own memories, often radically at odds with one another. Since then, various groups affected by the conflict have cultivated their own memories, often radically at odds with one another. By the end of 1962, France was home to 2 million French war veterans, well over 1 million repatriated pieds-noirs , 150,000 harkis (Algerians who had fought alongside the French) and their families, and 500,000 Algerian immigrants—whose number would double by the 1980s.

Stora estimates that about 7 million people currently living in France have ties with the country’s Algerian past—and few of them, or those in Algeria, seem happy with his final report.

Christian Fenech, president of the association Racine Pieds-Noirs , laments that “France has fallen into a trap set by the Algerian authorities,” which he claims Stora is seeking to appease with symbolic measures that essentially “go in the direction of repentance and apologies.” To this 58-year-old, whose parents left Algeria for the mainland just before his birth in 1962, the French state is avoiding more meaningful debates, such as over de Gaulle’s “disastrous” handling of the conflict.

A prominent organization representing the harkis also criticized Stora’s recommendations for ignoring their long-standing demands, such as a full recognition of responsibility by France for disarming and abandoning these troops at the mercy of the National Liberation Front when the war ended, and for detaining those who made it across the Mediterranean in squalid camps.

In Algeria, too, most reactions have been far from enthusiastic. While he did not explicitly mention the report, a government spokesman recently called on France to recognize its “colonial crimes.”

Then-French economy minister and presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron greets Algerian Minister of Industry and Mining Abdeslam Bouchouareb in Alger, Algeria, on Feb. 13, 2017. Soazig De La Moissonniere/IP3/Getty Images

Echoing this stance, Mohand Ouamar Benelhadj, interim secretary-general of the influential Organisation Nationale des Moudjahidine , which represents independence war veterans, dismissed most of the proposals as “details.”

“Our country was invaded by the French army, which committed countless abuses,” he said. “We were expropriated, exploited, enslaved. None of this is highlighted in the report.” He insists that the only thing that would really matter is something the É lysée has never been willing to deliver: a full apology for the entire period of French occupation.

That isn’t coming anytime soon—and the reasons why speak volumes about the shadow the war still throws over French politics.

After hostilities ended, the conflict was quickly brushed aside in the state’s narrative, with successive governments laying down what late historian Pierre Vidal-Naquet called a “pillow of silence” that lasted decades. Officially, what happened in Algeria wasn’t even called a “war” in France until 1999 for years, it was the “war without a name.” That amnesia ended in the early 2000s, largely thanks to a new wave of studies that put the most uncomfortable aspects of the conflict, particularly the use of torture by the French army, in the spotlight. The country started talking about the war like never before, and this time mainstream political figures were eager to join the debate. Then-President Jaques Chirac inaugurated a memorial for the fallen French troops and harkis , but he also spoke of a past “we cannot forget, nor deny” in a landmark visit to Algeria.

Macron’s Algeria Report Isn’t Progress, It’s a Whitewash.

France lost the Algerian War but is still controlling the narrative about its history—while refusing to apologize or pay reparations.

Macron Wants a French Empire Built on Language

Can France’s president redeem a language of colonialism to project global power today?

But if the issue was now less of a taboo, it had also become more liable to political manipulation, particularly from the right. To the extreme of the political spectrum, French Algeria nostalgia had long been nurtured by the National Front, the party that would later be rebranded as the National Rally. In the mid-2000s, the mainstream conservative Union for a Popular Movement party decided to go after the same votes by adopting the same narrative.

Macron has sought to define what France is meant to be, even before becoming president, by seizing upon the Algerian War. The first clear sign of this tectonic political shift came in 2005, with the adoption of a law, pushed by the right-wing majority, requiring school curricula to give adequate space to “the positive role of the French presence overseas,” though the line was later removed. Two years later, presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy successfully campaigned under the “no repentance” banner, insisting that France should not be ashamed of its colonial past and is morally indebted to the pieds-noirs for their suffering.

“Behind this insistence on Algeria lies a debate on national identity, about what France is supposed to be,” said Paul Morin, a researcher at Sciences Po university.

Macron has sought to define what France is meant to be, even before becoming president, by seizing upon the Algerian War. As a candidate in 2017, he described colonization as a “crime against humanity,” and a year later, as president, acknowledged widespread French torture and extrajudicial executions during the conflict. More broadly, Macron has sought to use the narrative around the Algerian War to shape the debate over immigration in France—a debate that has been boiling over since the unrest that erupted in the country’s immigrant-heavy urban slums, or banlieues, in 2005.

But while the left has also used the themes of Algeria and colonization for its own agenda, for example to stress the ancient ties between France and its North African immigration, the public discussion that Macron stepped into remains largely framed by the right. Conservatives argued that touting the good that French colonization did would help integrate disenfranchised immigrant youths, even though they seldom brought up Algeria themselves. Today, “no repentance” remains a fundamental law of French politics: The É lysée was careful to reaffirm it even as it received the Stora report, showing how seriously it is taking the risk of alienating the right-wing electorate.

Macron is also keeping in line by overstressing the role Algerian traumas play in today’s France. In a speech on Islamist separatism and radicalization last October, he mentioned the Algerian War among the factors contributing, in his view, to a rejection of French values among some members of the immigrant community.

The timing of the Stora report and France’s latest effort to grapple with its colonial memory speak volumes. The report was commissioned amid widespread outrage and popular unrest, similar to what happened in the United States, over police abuses and racism. The events of 1954, or 1957, or 1962, were never a priority for the protesters. But for Macron, they were—underscoring the degree to which French politics, starting on the right but extending across the spectrum, is still in thrall to the ghosts of Algeria.

“Macron’s main political move following this mobilization wasn’t to reform the police, but to commission a report on the Algerian War,” said Morin of Sciences Po. Such a response may be easier than reforming the security forces. But it also shows an enduring conviction that the Algerian War “is still poisoning French society,” he said.


President Charles de Gaulle on the Algerian Crisis - HISTORY

The importance of internationalizing the struggle

Unable to win militarily, the F.L.N sought all the international support that it could receive. It gained support of Communist countries like China and Russia who provided aid. It also gained support from Tunisia, Morocco, who after becoming independent from France in 1956 provided the F.L.N with arms and protection. To France’s dismay, Egyptian president Nasser also supported Ben Bella and the F.L.N. In April 1958 an African conference was called up in Ghana. Countries Morocco, Tunisia, Lybia, Sudan, Ghana, Ethiopia, United Arab Republic all agree to support Algeria in their Independence movement by giving them material help and asking the French to negotiate a withdrawal and recognize F.L.N as Algeria’s spokesman. In 1957 the Challe-Morice line was build, an electric barrier guarded by soldiers that was meant to prevent the flow of supplies and men from Tunisia and Morocco.


Watch the video: COVID-19: Tο αεροπλανοφόρο Σαρλ ντε Γκωλ επέστρεψε στη Γαλλία