Lukewarm message to Tunisians
The French government has been criticised for a “cold” and “dry” response to revolution in Tunisia
THE GOVERNMENT has been criticised for a “pitifully” non-committal response to the revolution taking place in Tunisia.
Popular French news site Rue89 contrasted the official responses from the Elysée and White House to the news of the overthrow of the authoritarian regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, saying the French one was, in comparison, “dry”, “cold” and “technocratic”.
The message on the French president’s website reads: “France takes note of the constitutional change announced by Prime Minister Ghannouchi. France hopes to see the situation calm down and an end to violence. Only dialogue can bring a lasting and democratic solution to the current crisis. France is at the Tunisian people’s sides in this decisive time.”
In his statement, US President Obama said: “I condemn and deplore the use of violence against citizens peacefully voicing their opinion in Tunisia, and I applaud the courage and dignity of the Tunisian people. The United States stands with the entire international community in bearing witness to this brave and determined struggle for the universal rights that we must all uphold, and we will long remember the images of the Tunisian people seeking to make their voices heard.”
The former president of Tunisia fled after wide-ranging protests, partly sparked off when a fruit and vegetable seller set himself on fire when police confiscated his cart. Rue89 said: “Tunisia is celebrating and the whole world is saluting the bravery of a people who has risen against their tyrant, encouraged by one of their own, the fruit and vegetable seller and martyr Mohamed Bouzizi. Who would not want to send a warm message to these people? And yet France limits itself to ‘taking note’.”
This was a poor response from “the land of the Rights of Man,” the website said.