‘France is now the sick man of Europe’: Polish minister says Yellow Vest movement and Christmas Market terror attack make the country ‘a drag on Europe’
- Polish foreign minister Jacek Czaputowicz lamented the ‘sad’ situation in France
- He said jihadist attack and Yellow Vest strikes made France Europe’s ‘sick man’
- A French jihadist killed five during rampage at Strasbourg Christmas market
- President Emmanuel Macron has made concessions to ‘yellow vests’ movement after weeks of violent protests
France is ‘the sick man of Europe’ and its problems are hurting the region, Poland’s foreign minister has claimed.
Jacek Czaputowicz said the violent ‘yellow vests’ protests and last week’s jihadist attack in Strasbourg made France a ‘drag on Europe’.
Lamenting the ‘sad’ situation in the country, he told Polish television channel Polsat News: ‘France is the sick man of Europe, it is a drag on Europe while Poland is a bright spot.
France is ‘the sick man of Europe’ and its problems are hurting the region, Poland’s foreign minister has claimed. Jacek Czaputowicz said the violent ‘yellow vests’ protests and last week’s jihadist attack (pictured) in Strasbourg made France a ‘drag on Europe’
French President Emmanuel Macron was forced last week to make concessions to the ‘yellow vests’ movement (pictured) after weeks of sometimes violent protests around the country
‘The terrorist attack proves that something is not right in France, the protests over the past weeks, President Macron’s withdrawal of state reforms – it’s sad.’
French President Emmanuel Macron was forced last week to make concessions to the ‘yellow vests’ movement after weeks of sometimes violent protests around the country.
A French jihadist attacked the Christmas market in Strasbourg, eastern France last Tuesday, killing five people – including a Polish national who died of his wounds on Sunday.
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‘If at the same time, you’re lecturing Poland, there is something not right. First you have to bring some order to your own country’ said Czaputowicz.
Czaputowicz’s comments reflect longstanding tensions between the two countries since the rightwing populist Law and Justice (PiS) government took power in Poland in 2015.
Most recently, Macron has been critical of Poland’s controversial reforms, which the European Union says pose a threat to the independence of the judiciary.
But even before Macron came to power in 2017, relations between the two countries soured after Poland called off a multi-billion euro deal with France’s Airbus to buy 50 of its Caracal helicopters.
Meanwhile, French security forces are ready to smother the centre of Paris with a ‘last resort’ chemical weapon in a bid to keep protesters away from key buildings, it has emerged.
Astonishing revelations about the debilitating powder – which can be spread across an area the size of six football pitches in just ten seconds – highlights the increasing desperation of President Emmanuel Macron ‘s administration as it faces up to a law and order crisis.
French plain clothes policemen block a ‘yellow vest’ protester during a riot in Nantes over the weekend
Lamenting the ‘sad’ situation in the country, Czaputowicz (pictured) told Polish television channel Polsat News: ‘France is the sick man of Europe, it is a drag on Europe while Poland is a bright spot
The country has been hit by five straight weeks of violence sparked by the Yellow Vests protest movement that has seen national monuments including the Arc de Triomphe ransacked.
There were 168 arrests in Paris on Saturday alone as the demonstrators – who are named after their high visibility jackets – fought running battles with police, who responded with water cannon, baton charges and tear gas.
Now senior officers have confirmed that some of the 14 armoured cars deployed by gendarmes contained ‘a radical device that was only to be used as a last resort’ against their own citizens.
A gun-like distributor on the vehicles’ turrets can spray the powder over 430,500 sq. ft. in ten seconds, Marianne magazine reports.
The high-density noxious product contains the same power as 200 tear gas grenades, and is designed to knock people out indiscriminately in an emergency.
Strasbourg terrorist believed ISIS ‘fought for a good cause’, his father reveals
The father of Strasbourg terrorist Cherif Chekatt has said his son believed ISIS ‘fought for a good cause’.
ISIS claimed Chekatt was one of their ‘fighters’ in the wake of the Christmas market atrocity, but this was dismissed by French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.
Chekatt’s father Abdelkrim said he always told his 29-year-old son that ISIS were criminals.
He told France 2 television that had his son hinted he intended to kill people, ‘I would have told police about him, so that he wouldn’t have killed anyone, and wouldn’t have gotten himself killed,’ he said.
Meanwhile French anti-terrorist officials are set to file charges against a man arrested over the mass shooting in Strasbourg last week.
The 37-year-old, who was not immediately identified, was detained on Thursday.
The father of Strasbourg terrorist Cherif Chekatt (pictured) has said his son believed ISIS ‘fought for a good cause’
He is suspected of helping to provide the pistol used by Cherif Chekatt, a career criminal who shot dead five people and wounded 11 at the market last Tuesday night, judicial sources said.
Chekatt, who was on a list of possible extremist security risks, was shot and killed by police after a two-day manhunt in the city.
The alleged associate will be brought before a judge in Paris on Monday, the prosecutors’ office in the capital said.
Six other people detained in the wake of Tuesday’s attack, including Chekatt’s parents and two of his brothers, have been released without charge.
Four of the five people killed in Tuesday’s attack were foreigners or born abroad.
One was a 45-year-old Thai tourist, and another a 45-year-old Franco-Afghan garage owner who fled his country 20 years ago.
A 28-year-old Italian journalist, in town to cover the European parliament, was also shot and killed, as was a 36-year-old former Pole who had lived in Strasbourg for the past 20 years.
The dead also included a 61-year-old Frenchman who had just retired and was shot in the head as he stepped out of a restaurant.
A source at the Paris police prefecture said: ‘If a large crowd forced barriers through the security perimeter, then the powder would be used as a last resort in order to stop them.’
But it is sure to raise concerned questions among civic rights groups, as well as monitoring organisations, including the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, of which France is a member.
Colonel Richard Carminache, of the Gendarmerie, confirmed that the controversial devices had ‘never been used in cities to my knowledge.’
Each distribution would result in ‘a highly concentrated teargas cloud, the equivalent of 200 grenades in one go,’ said Col. Carminache, who added: ‘It’s best to run to get out’.
Teargas is classed as a chemical weapon, and is actually banned from warzones, in line with international agreements.
Yet French gendarmes and police – who have been criticised during the latest law and order crisis for acts of extreme violence against civilians – use it constantly.
In Britain, teargas use is heavily restricted, and never used indiscriminately against large crowds containing men, women and children, as happens in France.
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