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Pierre Laurent: "We Can’t Save Hollande, But We Must Save the Left"

Interview with the French Communist leader

Translated Tuesday 29 April 2014, by Richard Pond

Pierre Laurent, the national secretary of the French Communist Party, is calling for the broadest possible alliance to "rebuild the left" based on different choices rather than "taking France to the wall", accelerating neoliberal austerity policies, as the Hollande-Valls government has chosen to do.

L’Humanité: Socialist Party deputies have voted confidence in the government while criticising its policy. Is their choice - to stay part of the presidential majority - hindering the building of a leftwing alternative?

Pierre Laurent: The unease on the Government benches clearly runs deep. For my part, I take the anger of some of these deputies seriously. This anger reflects what I’ve been saying for months: there’s no popular leftwing majority in the country that can support the current policy choices of François Hollande. I can also see just how much these Socialist politicians feel trapped by the Presidential system. Quite a number of them no longer want these policies to be carried out in their name - policies that are in reality dictated by Brussels, the markets and MEDEF [the French employers’ federation]. But they are afraid that their opposition could trigger a governmental crisis. I want to say to these men and women: "You won’t save François Hollande and Manuel Valls while they still cling to these policies. They are the ones feeding the political crisis, not those opposed to the choices taking us to the wall". It is therefore a question not of saving François Hollande, but of saving the left before the right and far right grab everything, and it’s a question of rebuilding policies that allow France to fight unemployment. That’s why I’m saying to them: "Let’s work together for leftwing solutions to the social, economic and political crisis, and we can do that only by turning our backs on the current policy choices. The responsibility of the Communists and of the Left Front in this situation is to create all the necessary conditions for dialogue and for building these alternative policies".

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