The controversy is served. The reason? The withdrawal this Sunday of the European Union flag from the monument of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris that was going to be temporarily, after right-wing opponents of President Emmanuel Macron accused him of “erasing” the French identity.
The giant blue flag was raised in place of the French flag at the New Years Eve to mark France’s turn in the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, which he will hold for the next six months.
The arch, a memorial to the war dead, and other iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Pantheon will also be illuminated with blue lights for the rest of this week.
However, Macron’s right-wing rivals for spring presidential election They took advantage of the removal of the tricolor, calling it an affront to the heritage of France and its veterans.
«Preside over Europe yes, erase the French identity, no! » tweeted Valerie Pecresse, the Republican conservative candidate who, according to polls, could be Macron’s main rival in the next vote, Afp reports. She urged him to restore the French flag, saying, “We owe it to our soldiers who shed their blood for it.”
Meanwhile, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, who had promised to lodge a complaint with the Council of State, France’s highest court for administrative matters, called the removal of the EU flag as “A great patriotic victory”, stating on Twitter that a “mass mobilization” had forced Macron to back down.
A great patriotic victory at the dawn of 2022!
The government was forced to remove the flag of the European Union from the Arc de Triomphe.
Thank you to the massive mobilization of all lovers of France and the Republic to roll back Emmanuel Macron. https://t.co/BNNJ0BJMhG
– Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) January 2, 2022
However, an official of the French presidency said this Sunday that the withdrawal of the national flag before dawn was “in line with the planned schedule”, insisting that, unlike the blue lights for monuments, it was supposed to I would only be in the Arch for two days.
Europe’s minister, Clement Beaune, on Saturday accused the right wing of “desperately persecuting the sterile controversies of the extreme right».