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Politics

ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Georges Frêche, la provocation de trop

by Rosa Moussaoui

Georges Frêche, One Act of Provocation Too Many

Translated Sunday 22 November 2009, by Kristina Wischenkamper

The insulting remarks made by the Languedoc Rousillon regional president at the Montpellier council have caused indignation amongst all members of the Left.

‘I can no longer take the climate of violence and intimidation that Georges Frêche is imposing.’ The alarm call comes from Michel Passet, president of the communist group in the municipal council of Montpellier who has asked for ‘municipal police protection’ for the meetings after the sordid comments inflicted upon several of the Montpellier councillors by the regional president on 5 October last. On the evening in question as soon as he arrived at the municipal council meeting Georges Frêche unleashed his invective, several days after the victory of his protégé, Didier Codorniou, at the PS internal consultation, convened to elect the leader of the socialists for the next regional elections. First target the deputy mayor, Serge Fleurance, guilty in his eyes of having supported his opponent, Eric Andrieu, in the internal consultation. ‘Hello traitor. I’d cut your b***s off and you wouldn’t even notice’ let rip Georges Frêche at his ex-devotee, according to the Midi libre. That was before taking it out on Jaques Touchon, leader of the Independents, with ‘I’m going to stick you like a pig’. Nice atmosphere. The Greens and the New Anti-Capitalist councillors got it in the neck too. ‘I’ve had a ball’ he said at the end of the meeting, the regional president visibly proud of himself. ‘Pitiful’ was the reaction of the socialist mayor of Montpellier, Hélène Mandroux’ in the Midi libre some days later. ‘I myself was called a stupid cow in 2005. It’s destructive behaviour. It’s intolerable’.

Remarks which show the ever-deepening breech amongst the socialists in the Languedoc, only six months away from the regional elections. ‘We’re not talking about a lapse any more. Intimidation has become Georges Frêche’s M.O. It’s causing serious problems at the heart of the regional majority. Neither the greens nor the communists will sign up to a coalition if he’s pulling the strings’ according to socialist regional councillor Paul Alliès. For Michel Passet, Georges Frêche effectively has become the biggest obstacle to any possibility of really unifying the Left. ‘It’s not just a personality issue. We’re talking about a deliberate policy of terror, an omertà. If a National Front councillor had used the same insults, we would have thrown him out. Just because they’re coming from a regional president, claiming to be from the Left, doesn’t mean we should let it pass.’


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