Socialist calls for recognition of 'crimes' in Algeria

5th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

ALGIER, Feb 4, 2007 (AFP) - A leading member of the French Socialist Party called Sunday for France to recognise crimes from the colonial era in Algeria rather than to apologise for them as Algiers wants.

ALGIER, Feb 4, 2007 (AFP) - A leading member of the French Socialist Party called Sunday for France to recognise crimes from the colonial era in Algeria rather than to apologise for them as Algiers wants.

"The best way to say sorry is to recognise the reality of the crimes which were committed by the colonisation in Algeria from 1830 to 1962" when Algeria became independent, Jack Lang, a special adviser to Socialist party presidential candidate Segolene Royal, told a conference in Algiers.

His remarks were condemned by far-right National Front leader and presidential candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen who said France had no reason to apologise.

Lang, a former education minister, had earlier met Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and passed on a "message of friendship" from Royal.

He called for French schoolbooks to be revised to present a less "idyllic" account of colonialism.

Differences between Paris and Algiers over the impact of the colonial experience have prevented the signing of a peace and reconciliation treaty, with Algeria demanding apologies for crimes said to have been committed during the colonial era.

"If Mr Lang means... the regrets we should have with respect to Algeria, that is a villainous opinion, it is scandalous to say that," Le Pen said on French television.

"If France has to ask for accounts, she should ask those who allowed the departure in ruin of a million French mainland people" after Algerian independence," Le Pen said.

Lang also called for the establishment of an international organisation of states bordering the Mediterranean, including Algeria, France, Italy and Spain and said if Royal were elected France would pay more attention to the Mediterranean basin.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, Colonisation, Algeria 

 

0 Comments To This Article