The French Foreign minister, Michèle Alliot-Marie is in political turmoil. She spent her last holidays in Tunisia and according to the satirical French newspaper, Le canard enchainé, used a private jet belonging to someone linked to Ben Ali. It could again be another typically French political conundrum. However, this time, it is slightly different.
On 11th January 2011, Alliot-Marie committed a real political faux pas as she offered to help the Tunisian and Egyptian governments quell the demonstrations. Of course, the Western governments often train officers abroad to share their savoir-faire as said by Alliot-Marie. This time, the French government was caught red-handed and this could cost Alliot-Marie her job.
It is not the fact she took this stance which is cynical. This is because the whole of the French press and the political elite has suddenly an opinion about Alliot-Marie’s position. For nearly three decades, Tunisia was only a holiday-destination for many French people. Keeping quiet about Ben Ali’s regime was the rule and suddenly, everyone seems to remember that around 600 000 Tunisians live in France.