"The economic sanctions against Russia and the Russian countermeasures are a disaster for the French economy"
Translated from French by Tom Winter March 18, 2016
What the experts were saying has actually happened: The economic sanctions against Russia, followed by Russian countermeasures -- that Jean-Pierre Chevènement characterized as a "spiral of insanity" -- are a disaster for the French economy.
The numbers are out: for 2014 the figures for franco-russian commerce dropped 17.6%. For 2015, they are down more than 45%. The investments we were expecting, the economic projects -- down the drain.
The results have been observed by all of our fellow citizens, what with the drastic drop in French exports to Russia, especially in the case of agricultural products. Hence the recent demonstrations of French farm folk, progressively more and more desperate. We have all seen the banners giving vent to farm exasperation, neglected, even scorned by our Ministers. They've all called for the lifting of the sanctions and the renewal of exporting farm products to Russia.
But it's all too plain that Russia will not forget the snubs it has endured of our backing out of the Mistrals, nor the diplomatic alignment of our country backing the United States.
As Guillaume Faye explained it in Polemia (12/1/2016) the russophobia of certain French political figures does not arise from their hostility to "Tsar" Putin (they always been most courteous with the Castro brothers and other communist regimes. They scramble to vacation in Cuba or Viet Nam, exemplary democracies that they are), nor does it stem from any Russian "menace," which doesn't actually exist.
Their current hostility to Russia is ideological.
They cannot endure a regime that, in fact, is putting in place a "conservative revolution." By encouraging birth, patriotism, defense of religious tradition, historic tradition, the pride of independence, the efforts to equip itself with a modern army... The danger for the western socio-liberal alignments is that these principles that they denounce as populist might just take hold in Europe [!]
It is by no means sure that vague promises of lifting the sanctions in the summer will be enough to redress the situation of the farm people, or to calm down the repeated uproars from farm and small-scale businessmen.