In Paris, EU flag removed, placed under Arc de Triomphe

PARIS (Agencies): In Paris, after criticism, the flag of the European Union was removed from the Arc de Triomphe, the RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the scene.
The canvas was hung in honor of the beginning of the six-month French presidency of the EU Council. Representatives of the right and extreme right reacted sharply to this, including the presidential candidate and leader of the National Rally party Marine Le Pen, the candidate from the center-right Republicans party Valerie Pécresse and the leader of the Revoyevoye party, Eric Zemmour. They called the situation blasphemy and an insult to the To-mb of the Unknown Sold-ier, located under the arch, and called on President E-mmanuel Macron to return the national flag there.
The EU banner was supposed to flutter under the arch for several days: it was planned to remove it along with the Christmas illumination, which is removed from the Champs Elysees on January 9. At the same time, posters with stars on a blue background remained around the perimeter.
Le Pen called the decision of the authorities “a patriotic victory.”
“A beautiful patriotic victory at the dawn of 2022! The government was forced to remove the European Union flag from under the Arc de Triomphe. Thank you for the massive mobilization of all lovers of France and the Republic in order to force Emmanuel Macron to back down,” she wrote on Twitter.
At the same time, the French flag under the arch has not yet been returned.
After the anger of part of the opposition over the European flag placed under the Arc de Triomphe, the Secretary of State for European Affairs denounced a “serious political fault” of the candidate of the Republicans “accomplice of this slippage of the extreme right “in his eyes.
He retaliates. After the Drapeaugate – the controversy surrounding the European flag installed under the Arc de Triomphe to celebrate the start of the French presidency of the EU – the Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, attacked his opponents in the program Questions Politiques this Sunday on France Inter.
“We have no lesson in patriotism to receive from Madame Le Pen, Monsieur Zemmour or Madame Pécresse who becomes a photocopier of the extreme right day after day”, he notably attacked.
Saying “very proud” that the European flag flew from Friday to Sunday morning under the national monument, Clément Beaune castigated “the lost right which flattens out in front of Marine Le Pen “, the first political figure to have denounced this symbol on Twitter. “The fake patriots who argue by daring to summon the memory of veterans, I say it is an abject shame (…) and that Madame Pécresse is complicit in this slippage of the extreme right, I believe this is a serious political mistake,” he insisted.
The day before, the candidate of the National Assembly had announced that she would lodge an appeal with the Council of State, accompanied by a request for “suspension, in summary” of this “real attack on the identity of our Fatherland”.
Earlier, on the sidelines of Emmanuel Macron’s wishes to the French, Valérie Pécresse had “solemnly” asked the President to hand over the French flag next to that of Europe so as not to “erase the French identity”.
“The masks are falling” for Clément Beaune, who took the opportunity to evoke the division within the Republicans on this controversy by welcoming that “President Larcher has illuminated the Senate in blue”.
Before pointing out that some members of France Insoumise were also very critical of the presence of the European flag under the Arc de Triomphe. “Mr. Mélenchon himself, Mr. Lachaud (…) said it was a shame, sometimes in incredible terms,” said Clément Beaune.
Guest of BFMTV this Sunday morning, Manuel Bompard, campaign director of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, spoke of a “bad decision”.
The French presidency of the Council of the European Union, which will last six months, began on January 1, 2022.
French ministers will preside over meetings of relevant EU ministers, promote compromise, decision-making, approval of legislative initiatives both within the Council and in cooperation with other EU institutions – the European Commission and the European Parliament.
The EU-Africa summit to be held in Brussels on February 17-18 will be a significant foreign policy event of the French presidency. Following its resu-lts, the European Union intends to announce a new large-scale investment pac-kage for African countries.
In addition, at an EU summit in late March, European leaders plan to endorse the Strategic Compass, the first pan-European defense and security strategy.