tv Conflict Zone - Guest Alexandre Holroyd Deutsche Welle November 8, 2018 9:30am-10:00am CET
earth. or saving global interiors tell stories of creative people and innovative projects around the world ideas to protect the climate and boost green energy solutions and global ideas on a series of global three goals and on t.w. and online. after a year and a half in power the french president emmanuel mccall is getting more and more unpopular nothing he does seems to stop the slide my guest here in london is the french m.p. alexander holroyd a member of the president's marsh party he has a seat on the parliament's finance committee how can the president boost to see him reach the head of crucial elections to the european parliament next year.
alexander holroyd welcome to the complex thank you for having me you said last year the people voted for emmanuel mccall because they were fed up with the two main parties where they got fed up with him pretty quickly didn't they i mean he got the worst slump of any new french leader in twenty years that was three months things haven't improved in fact the latest polls show him going down and down why is that actually that's not exactly accurate the polls have gone up and gone down the middle either down at the moment i think the latest poll this week by i can tell shows who pulling a further four points between september and absolutely between the two they went up and they were down to the surprise of everyone over the first summer in september last year only twenty six percent is now have cause it wasn't i think there's one element which is important is i think people voted for a man you make one for the new party because they didn't want political figures who were governing based on polls and that's why they not only voted for many but they voted for a crushing majority in. parliament and those are unique elections we want
a new government we want a new president a new government a new parliament who is capable of transforming the country independently of whether the polls go up and down i think the one of the disasters we've had the last twenty years is that governments have no idea the trouble to make them all and so on the thing is to try and tell me the polls don't matter they do matter they should be standing and the party is getting pretty restless i don't think that we should i don't i mean i just generally don't think that we should do policy making with a knife at the polls if not you will not do anything the idea that by transforming a country and doing fundamental reforms your whole will go up or down shouldn't matter one should do what is good for the country and i mean we're going to have a credit as fatah voted for that one of your colleagues and peter is a founding member of all my standing. you said a few weeks ago i'm one of the first to be irritated and exasperated by the blunders but how do we bounce back not by changing direction we need to reconnect with the very important founding principle of the party empowering the people to
make change happen reconnect. after a year and a half having to reconnect with people because you've lost them within the year and a half that's pretty unimpressive actually study says getting me is not only one of my colleagues but he is also one of the candidates to take the lead of the movement i'm sure you'll know he announced his candidacy the day before yesterday and i personally support him i think it's absolutely true that as we're under undertaking this profound transformation of every aspect of the way france has functioned we need to do a better job of explaining what we're doing and what about a better job of keeping ministers happy i mean for instance. you lost three ministers in quick succession this was before the reshuffle among them the environment is that. resigned on the radio citing what he called a cumulation of disappointments then there was the interior minister. who walked out after publicly rebuffing the president's appeals to stay there not a good summit. public not happy ministers not happy party not happy actually the
vast majority of the ministers are still in place you know left it's true out of a set of disappointments not only with government policy but also more generally with how to treat the knesset of the transition the environment trying transition was going and it's a very tricky issue this and i won't deny it the there is at the moment in france a lot of discontent with for instance fuel prices because we've increased fuel prices with the tax on fuel prices in line with the carbon with the carbon commitments of every presidential candidate but we have to make a commitment three weeks ago we had disastrous floods in the south of france we having more the climate change is having more and more impact on the daily lives of our citizens every day i understand and i understand the policy concerns i think those might be unpopular but it is an imperative that we drive through those were the problem for the president is one of style as much as substance is and the fact is he doesn't seem to like his own people very much last year he declared fronts on
governable that didn't exactly and people in the similarly unflattering vein he said the country was a society of entitle privileges france isn't a reform country many have tried and they haven't succeeded pretty insulting news and i just don't think that's accurate the president. the president the president was elected by a majority of the french people and his majority and his majority in parliament as well and we've undertaken those reforms and we've actually achieved some of those reforms that everybody said were impossible look at the labor market reform the first reform second reform that we did when we came into office this was a reform which was seen by every bit as impossible in france a lot of them were seen as benefiting the rich went that we can get we going back to those who come to those in a minute it doesn't help the president does it when he blames the press the press is being unfit this is a leaf out of donald trump's playbook isn't it i don't think it's any further down the translated. i'll tell you first are the media room i'll give you an
illustration out of the other because. i'll give you an illustration i was with the president in denmark when he made one of those comments that was then decried in certain medias in france on the fact that france was difficult to reform. it was an open forum he was talking to the french community abroad and to the danish community who was there and present with the danish. queen and the danish prime minister and it was a light hearted comment which was not insulting in the least not as if it had been said by anyone it was taken out of context and distorted light to the matter is that is that very important what's important is that we transform a country what's important is that we achieve what we were elected to do. for you. which he said it. with the press through. on the flimsy excuse that he could find somewhere more comfortable with them and then we had in july comment we have a press that no longer seeks the truth. no longer seeks the trail having
to get out of. having kicked out the media of the press room is ludicrous the media was in a room in the main main palace of the easy who is a small over undersized palace for the presidency and they've been moved literally twenty metres across the street where a lot of the presidential staff is as well as well be frank here about whether the press have a comfortable place there. that is that is that is just inaccurate as a patrol of what that gesture there is no symbolic gesture behind it the way the press might just take it that way but there is none they are still in the grounds where all the decisions are made we have a press that seeks the truth what's. the it's just fake news i think he says that the next thing he's going to talk about i think he's saying i think he's saying that we have arrived at a point and actually i think this has been a problem in most elections in the past where the media a lot of people derive their media sources. from unverified sources on the on line
and actually one of them was that we passed aims to curtail that trend that phenomenon which is undermining democracies. the western world but there is a genuine distrust in certain institutions including the media and i think one hundred one would be blind not to see it but it's always a bit lame when politicians blame the media for them being unpopular and say they're being unfair to us and that's what he did no i don't because it was on the lawn and i think the quote you quoted from stanley says again he recognizes that we're completely aware that we have failings that we need to improve on certain aspects of the complaint among the soci it's past and present seems to be that even by french standards mr macro holds the reins of power very very tightly a small coterie of advisors surrounds him and that's it he doesn't explain and he doesn't apologize new doesn't mind admitting that. i mean absolutely no apology for the verticality of power he said i am proud of the choices that are being made and i hate the process that means you have to constantly explain the reasoning behind a decision so much for accountability he hates. democrats the democratic process of
actually having to explain why he does what he does i think i'm the you know you have people who think that i think are you comfortable i think it's great that you're asking the question because i'm to some extent the perfect person to answer because i'm the representative of what i'm a representative of the other. person because that's where you. can you are so i'd like to take with that i can tell you that every law that the president has pushed for has been adopted after a former debate in parliament has been improved amended depending on the circuit you have a massive majority you have a solid majority eighteen to account a sudden we're taking into account the comments of every opposition party if you look at every law nearly every single including the budget there have been amendments accepted from everyone you're not addressing party every single opposition party you're not addressing my polish means that as interesting as what i am addressing your point you know you're the president takes into account all the democratic all the in all the different parties in parliament on top of that every
main rule that we've adopted has been preceded by months of consultation with all the different organization has a stake in isolation the process of having to explain you said it the browsers are in a car in the biosphere was one of the first well known politicians to join the campaign she sees a big gap between what was promised by the president and then what the public got what i quickly found embarrassing she said there's a contradiction between the bottom up approach that was promised and solved at the french and the reality democratic socialism the soviet way completely vertical and also very masculine in other words. in the office is not the person he promised to be before he got. so i disagree with that assessment completely and actually if you take the commitments that we made the program that we made which was a manifesto that we made and you take it line by line you will see that we are putting in place precisely what we said we would put in place that are not. that
alignment is what is a big that is a big difference from what was done in the past where things were said during the campaign and were then not achieved during the presidency we have committed to one thing we've written a program it's articulated precisely what we will do and we are going for this program implementing what the french are voted for unemployment is one of the highest rates you around nine percent in the first priority that is a very important priority that's actually essential party most of our program is aimed in part at challenging that which is it's more than a problem it is going to chronicle problem france for the last thirty years the idea that we would undo all the redo all this transformation in a year and a half after twenty years of immobility is ridiculous create you take the pain to learn why for example the region around not some of the lowest unemployment rates in france mine out of ten of the job offers are for fixed contracts three quarters
of those jobs for less than a month and thirty percent only for one day and that's not addressing the problem unemployment from since if you're saying that we have a structural problem with unemployment i can't agree more we have a particular problem in france is we have a mismatch between the demand and the skills necessary to fulfill that demand we actually have forty two to forty five percent of businesses who agree that there are tensions in the labor market to recruit yet in regions where we have unemployment which sometimes is around ten fifteen percent twenty twenty five percent amongst the youth style wrote that's why we've invested enormously in a great offer traineeship in skills mr the fear from your point of view has to be that you're facing the serious unpopularity of the president head of european elections next year with marine le pen's far right party pretty much neck and neck with yours mr merkel has already warned about civil war in europe between liberal and liberal policies but if you can't fight that battle. successfully at home it
will give you much authority to fight in europe. he said that there is an atmosphere which is akin to a kind of civil war. i think that it is true today the divisions across actually most member states are being felt more than they were in say the ninety's of the two thousand that the european election is a european election it's an election about europe and where you are goes my point is that he is drawn the battle lines in europe liberal democracies against what he likes to call liberal democracies i think we need another thing i think there is a point he's not he's not in winning this magical he's not winning this but we'll look at the poll and look at everything agree with look at the institutions of the e.u. trying to have disciplinary process as against these two countries and failing miserably to change their policies in any way whatsoever actually the issue is
a battle that europe is losing now is fighting a losing battle no. we i think the president but also the whole party except that there is today a growing interest in the liberal democracies and we think that part of that is because there is an assessment mean by a lot of our citizens that our democracy our european union our states have been unable to address some of the daily concerns of their lives and the only way to address that issue is to change that in the flesh in the fact which is why we've proposed a whole series of changes to the european union which is a program for the european that we will defend in the european elections with people who will vote in the same opinion however we were in europe which careful where you are doesn't want your president says we need a sovereignty that is stronger than just our own which compliments but doesn't replace it who wants that actually viktor orban in hungary the poles the czechs the slovaks the italians they don't want it actually don't want any of the there are
two things the rule. who do you think is winning the civil war if you look at the difference between the support for italy's leaders at the moment its far right anti establishment government which is running at over sixty percent support and how much support does your president get in the twenty's actually you look at the support for the euro which means you're looking at you look at the support for the european union in poland for instance and it's amongst the highest in europe in poland among citizens so the reflection that because of a certain government is elected nationally it reflects the views of europe of its citizens is a false one you look at austria same phenomenon and secondly there's a lot of aspects of that program that have been welcomed. by germany on the euro zone by by ireland are lawyers and it's all right do you say that but a new survey last month of european or to choose by friends of europe found that almost half the respondents believe the e.u. was relevant sixty four percent were not convinced that their lives would be any worse without the you and in france itself your country forty one percent thought
life would be just the same without the e.u. but only twenty two percent thought it would be worse that that is hardly the kind of encouragement for mr macro's graham ground project that you're claiming and i haven't seen that you're that i haven't seen that poll so i'm not from something you aren't yet does not know what the perimeter is but there is there is a regular poll you're a barometer poll about attitudes and intentions towards the e.u. and you will see that in countries which have governments which have been relatively all styled to the youth to the institutions as they stand the population doesn't always follow there is a separation between national politics and european politics they're not the same thing you're not voting for the same responsibilities it's very it's very simple. for this greater integration pushing for this greater cooperation. there's no there's no market for it actually there's no that's a very interesting thing that. but. the president has offered or suggested that we should reinforce frontex. border the border agency of europe by ten thousand men
those kinds of measures supported by most people that we should have a european asylum agency supported by a significant amount is not supported is the way that you are treating immigrants. group of un human rights experts warned about what they called inhuman conditions for migrants along the northern coast and increasingly regressive policies that's the effect of your new immigration law. you shorten the lines for asylum applications you've doubled the time for which illegal migrants can be detained and you introduced a one year prison sentence for entering france illegally and your president says he wants a more humane approach to immigration through these measures. by human rights press including the un that if there is a partisan reading of the bill we have actually in france one of the most generous we have one of the most generous if you are right the arabs one of the most generous system in terms of exceeding to citizenship what the president has said is
that we need to increase efficiency of procedures in part in great part to be more human we have people in france who wait for ten years to have a decision made on whether they have a right to asylum claim or not that's unacceptable which is why in this budget for instance we're investing much more in all those different aspects choosing whether somebody has deciding making the arbitration whether somebody has the right to refugee status or not they're investing enormously into those people who have the right to refugee status so that they can integrate society much quicker all of this is articulated not only in their bill but also in the bunch it and that the you know you have to offend the reality is the whole road over here is very different according to. the practice is to return migrants who cross into france from italy including unaccompanied children with no thought for their safety or for france whose duty to offer. protection that is why earlier in the year the administrative tribunal in nice ruled these practices illegal and suspended the refusal eventually
decision against nineteen minors your courts having to do what your government should have done in the first place which is in force a just and fair system for these migrants particularly the most vulnerable once the children your courts had to step in to tell the government this is wrong your refusal eventually to these people is illegal actually that is precisely what we're doing and it's precisely what that nor aims to do. it's precisely that law ames strain is a godsend is a big way of trying to spin the. store where it uses new ink there is just breaking a law and breaking there there is no spin on this principle there is a desire to have more clarity to be able to be more human and efficient in the treatment of immigration and that includes not wrestling in those who have a right to stay in france and ensuring that those who don't have a right to return to their home country this is all about it on. cooperation and
domestic policy both of which in the european side were advocating in the french side were investing in according to some from between june twenty fourth and twenty six one hundred fifty seven people will return to italy without even the opportunity to apply for asylum seventy six of them were detained for fourteen hours eleven miners were illegally returned italy then is supported once again back to france by the italian police these people are being treated like cattle on your border and by your thought that's absolutely untrue if you look at the asteroid missiles in front of me at least if you look if you look at the arriving make you should look at the arrivals in france for instance the software tools and welcome from say that we we have in the second country to welcome those in ignorance so those are facts as well let's move on to the other contentious subject which of course is brecht's it seems have been the sense in france that this was really just a british problem and france could get perhaps some profit out of it but that's
changing now isn't it. it's not just a question of wanting britain to suffer all the. suggested that he thought they should suffer didn't know he said i mean and that's it shows us one thing it's not easy to access the european union not without cost not without consequences is that force well he wanted the suggestion is that he want to blow to pay back a gesture that other suggestion the matter of fact meeting the. it was a complicated process i don't think that anybody on either side of the channel would deny that would you do you know do you know anybody who would actually say that the process of leaving the e.u. is an easy one. well actually people in this country in britain certainly said it was an easy one but they've been proved wrong do you believe in a last minute deal the two sides taking it right down to the wire just to show that they've extracted all the concessions i'd like and frankly others i just like to make a point there is no one including the president in france who thinks the brits it
is a good thing but there is a strong feeling in london that the french want to maximum uncertainty for as long as possible but one thing to try and persuade british based finance houses and moving into continental europe you know we've been fairy very clear from the from the get go about what was important to france we just talked about europe we consider that the european single market is the future of our economy we're very clear there is one key red line which is any deal cannot undermine that single market and my question was do you believe in the last minute deal because it seems that mr bonior is softening some of his positions on northern ireland and the financial services i think we should do everything in our power to find a deal i think not having a deal would be if not disastrous at least very hurtful for both parties so i think we should work absolutely consistently with one objective in head to fake
a deal i do not come at any price and it doesn't come at the price of undermining the signature to change the position of the. i mean that's a question for me should be i'm not into the negotiations day to day i'm a french parliamentarian so this is this is i am not a negotiator for the e.u. but what i what i've always said and what i will stick by is that we need to find a deal absolutely it is the priority and it is actually the priority which has been articulated by the twenty seven leaders the council every step of the way but that cannot come at any cost that deal can undermine the e.u. project that we've taken sixty seven years or sixty or seventy years to build if you're talking about a rule based system i'm talking about a system a talking about a single market which was in one when you were in the rules when you feel like it's and you apply them when you also when you feel like it's very selective it's very slow no. twenty sixteen when he was giving france a free pass one of the budget targets that it missed why was he doing that because
it's from he said because it's from that's the attitude to rules you would force them when you want. to very selectively actually that's actually inaccurate if you look at the commission's comments on france's budgets which is i suppose what you're talking about i was talking about to because it has been over the years it actually about to not even twenty sixteen people just like you and i. know but i mean the assessment wait we have a commission who is supposed to enforce the rules that commission on every occasion that has had to which school european semester when it comments on different budget has always criticised in the last ten years france budget for excesses and i recognise that it's criticised the rest of the nothing about a computer science that is done nothing about it completely recognise it i recognise it which is why when we reduce our which is one select which is why when we were elected we did in our first budget every effort to come out of the excessive deceased effective deficit procedure which we have succeeded in doing. so
i am absolutely conscious that in the terms of fiscal policy the excessive budgets that france has driven through for the last eight years have undermined something somewhere else so have for instance the excessive budgets that germany had in two thousand and five or the excessive trade balance that germany has today in the eyes of the commission and of the treaty all right the commission doesn't wrote doesn't throw it in forces the treaties if it's at the margin it has a new way which is included inscribed in the treaty if it is not of the module then it must take action it comes up to the initial merits on the violations i'd question whether it actually enforces them the rules thank you it was i was on the whole road thank you for having got it so thank you very much and the.
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