Twenty retired French generals have called for military rule if Emmanuel Macron fails to halt the disintegration of the country “at the hands of Islamists”, in an open letter published ahead of next year’s presidential election.
The open letter, published in Valeurs Actuelles, a right-wing news magazine, claims a military coup might be necessary to stop a “civil war” in France.
The letter has been condemned by Macron’s government, who compared it to the failed coup by generals against President de Gaulle 60 years ago.
However, right-wing National Rally leader Marine Le Pen hailed the letter, which was signed by 80 other retired officers, as well as the 20 generals.
The lead signatory was Christian Piquemal, 80, who commanded the Foreign Legion before losing his privileges as a retired officer after being arrested while taking part in an anti-Islam demonstration in 2016.
It was written by Jean-Pierre Fabre-Bernadac, a former officer, and signed by 1000 others who were in lower ranks.
The letter reads: “France is in danger. Several mortal perils threaten her. Even in retirement, we remain soldiers of France and cannot in the present circumstances remain indifferent to the fate of our beautiful country”.
The retired officers claimed that France was “disintegrating with the Islamists of the hordes of the banlieue [suburbs] who are detaching large parts of the nation and turning them into territory subject to dogmas contrary to our constitution”.
Macron also came under fire with the retired officers blasting the state for allowing brutal police action against yellow vest protesters in the country.
In a chilling call, the letter claimed that the country would “explode” into civil war if “nothing was done”, which would lead to the deaths of thousands.
They also claimed they had broad support in the military and were “ready to support” politicians who focused on the “safety of a nation”.
The declaration of support was seized upon by Le Pen, who wrote on the site of the magazine where the letter was published: “I invite you to join our action and take part in the battle that is opening and is above all the battle of France. As a citizen and as a woman politician, I share your suffering”.
National Rally added that the letter reflected the views of patriots like General Pierre de Villiers, former chief of the defence staff, who was sacked by Macron in 2017.
Source: Daily Mail