Paris | The Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly asked for sanctions against the military – including twenty generals – signatories of a forum denouncing the “disintegration” of France and saying they were ready to “support the policies” who will work against it.
“Regarding the soldiers who violated the duty of reserve, of course, sanctions are provided for, and I therefore asked for those who would be among the signatories reported, active soldiers, I asked the chief staff to apply the rules that are provided for in the military statute, that is to say sanctions, ”she said Monday on France Info radio.
“These are actions that are unacceptable,” hammered Florence Parly after having already castigated an “irresponsible platform” on Sunday.
For the retired military signatories, also “bound to a duty of reserve”, sanctions are also possible, she noted.
She recalled the case of General Christian Piquemal, former boss of the Foreign Legion and also signatory of the platform, who had been struck off in 2016 from army officials for having participated in a prohibited demonstration against migrants in Calais.
The column, published by the right-wing weekly “Valeurs Actuelles” on April 21 and signed by “about twenty generals, a hundred high-ranking officers and more than a thousand other soldiers”, calls on President Emmanuel Macron to defend Patriotism.
These soldiers denounce the “disintegration” which strikes the homeland, “the hatred between communities” fueled by “a certain anti-racism”, as well as “Islamism and the suburban hordes” subjecting part of the territory “to dogmas contrary to our Constitution”.
They say they are “ready to support policies which will take into consideration the protection of the nation”.
Such a position taken by active soldiers is unprecedented – the army is usually nicknamed in France “la Grande Muette” for its lack of involvement in the political debate.
The boss of the far right Marine Le Pen, presidential candidate in 2022 where she is at the top of the polls with centrist President Emmanuel Macron, immediately invited them to “join” her, adding to the controversy.
Part of the left strongly denounced this platform on Saturday, while criticizing the government’s lack of reaction.
The previous week, “Valeurs Actuelles” had published a column by the former right-wing minister Philippe de Villiers, titled “I call for insurrection”. His brother, Pierre de Villiers, former chief of staff of the armed forces is cited by some as a possible presidential candidate in 2022.