French is melting down. And the government does not know what to do. The minister of domestic affairs, Nicolas Sarkozy, suggests that the presence of the police should be raised. There are only few rotten apples, he suggests.
How wrong can a man be? No more than Sarkozy, I say. These events are only a sample, a very small one, of all the social tensions crippling France and its system.
France needs a complete reformation. Starting from its ruling elite. President Chirac is not in control. But the French Constitution does not put in place any device to press on his political accountability. He has been there for more than 10 years. He made a number of considerable mistakes. Starting from the dissolution of the parliament in 1995 and finishing with the disastrous defeat at the European Referendum last May 29.
He then shaffled the members of his government, and created a conflict between the prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, and the minister of domestic affairs, Nicolas Sarkozy, both president-pretenders. Not a disingenious move: Chirac still would like to be re-elected.
The French constitutional system, along with its social system, is crumbling. The idea of having a President and a Prime Minister does not work. This merely shifts away political accountability on the part of the president, who virtually becomes a king with powers. Chirac must be 'guillotined', and the French constitutional system reformed. Chirac should have stepped down after the Referendum.
But France blamed someone else, something else. Today, France is blaming those young criminals (voyous) who are fighting a civil struggle. But these young people are there because of French elite policy choices. They have been ghettisized, they have been stripped of any possible expectation. They are judged and insulted, they are considered outlaws. But what else can they do? France did not manage to integrate them.
The only outlaws are French ruling classes. Their system of elite education, tight mafia-like social networking, and its politics of exclusion of immigrants.
The rest of Europe is not much better. It is only a matter of degrees. Go and see the suburbs of Milan, Barcelona, Athens, Berlin, etc. You'll see extreme poverty, and social wreck. The evemts taking place in France are not likely to stop with more police. Unfortunately, they are only likely to spread everywhere in Europe, and take colossal dimensions. It is the revolt of the poorest, and it could be a new, deeper, more violent, May 68.
European countries must react now. They must start a dialogue with those people that are completely left out. We must be able to create expectations, and a future, for the suburbs of Europe. This is one of the issues with which Europe at large should be engaged. No more european bananas and bahamas for everyone. The reality is different. We have to take responsibility, and build Europe on a basis of solidarity, starting from the very bottom. Europe will emerge only if we're capable of dealing with these social tragedies.