One has been a candidate for almost a year, the other is still in suspense. Seven months before the presidential election, the debate between Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Eric Zemmour on BFM TV, Thursday, September 23, was eagerly awaited in this political return. For more than two hours, the candidate of La France insoumise and the far-right polemicist opposed each other on many subjects – immigration, Islam, security, purchasing power, the fight against global warming… – and confronted their visions antagonists of society.
If Mr. Mélenchon wished that this debate not “Do not turn into a roosters war”, he attacked Mr. Zemmour all the same from the first few minutes. “You are a danger to our country. You have a stunted vision of France, he said. You are a racist, condemned for this. ” Criticized on the left for having agreed to debate with Mr. Zemmour, the member of Bouches-du-Rhône also tried to justify himself: “I wanted this debate because we are seven months away from a presidential election, I am a candidate and the opportunities to convince must be seized. ”
The two debaters then evoked their vision of immigration on the theme “Is France in danger?” “. The author of French suicide, who regularly expressed his fear “Of a civil war in France”, estimate that “We gave the rights of immigration policy to immigrants. They are the ones who choose who comes, who does not come: the son, the mother, the wife, the cousin… ”“ Yes, these are human beings who have families ”, replied in the wake of Mr. Mélenchon.
The former CNews columnist then attacked Islam which he said would be “At the antipodes of France”: “Islam is essentially a political religion. It does not deal with the interiority of the faithful but with social and political norms. Islam is a religion which competes with the civil code, (…) which is not compatible with France. ” For his part, Mr. Mélenchon praised “The creolization of France”. For him, “We are the country which has practiced for the longest time a form of assumed creolization, that is to say the creation of a common culture of people who are in the same place. “.
Security and social divide
Asked about security, the rebellious candidate of France for the presidential election for the third time, after 2012 and 2017, outlined his program. He notably proposed to “Dissolve the Anti-Crime Brigade and the BRAV (Motorized Violent Action Repression Brigade)”. “We managed to cut the police off from the population. I want a police force that respects people ”, he continued. “For me, the delinquency that we live is not a delinquency, it is a jihad, for his part launched Mr. Zemmour. It is a war of civilization which is waged against us, a war of plunder, a war of rape, a war of murder. “
MM. Mélenchon and Zemmour then broached the subject of the social divide. The candidate of rebellious France notably recalled that he was ” supporter of the blocking of a certain number of prices of basic necessities: food, energy and water ” to increase the purchasing power of the most disadvantaged. He also wants an increase in the minimum wage to 1,400 euros net. The far-right polemicist attacked the French welfare state, which he described as“Obese” : “The social model has renounced these two principles: linking contributions to work and we have moved from a pay-as-you-go system to an assistantship system. ” He particularly wishes “Reduce taxes and social charges”, without further details.
Disagreement over nuclear
Another point of contention: the environment. What energy mix to fight against global warming? For Eric Zemmour, the solution remains nuclear which allows France “To be the country which emits the least CO2 “. ” To give up nuclear power is to give up the sovereignty of France, it is to give up 200,000 direct jobs ”, he explained wishing “Reinventing a right-wing ecology, rooted, close to nature”.
Mr. Mélenchon proposes, him to” to give up “ nuclear power in the coming years, in particular because of the risk of accidents and the issue of waste. The deputy wishes thus “Deploy hydroelectricity, redeploy tidal turbines, geothermal energy and improve sobriety in energy consumption. It will put tens of thousands of people to work ”.
Finally, in the last moments of the evening, the two debaters were questioned on the state of democracy in France, and in particular on the massive abstention during the last elections. This time MM. Mélenchon and Zemmour agreed on the analysis: “ Whatever voters vote, the result is the same ”, they say. “Politicians for thirty years have come together like twin sisters, says Mr. Zemmour. The culmination of this resemblance is Emmanuel Macron, child of the liberal right and the liberal left. “
For his part, the candidate of rebellious France notably questioned the European treaties: “Those who govern no longer have any margin. I make the absolute commitment that the program will be implemented throughout if I am elected. “ Before recalling his wish to set up a constituent assembly to “Bring down the presidential monarchy”. He also pleaded for the citizens’ initiative referendum and the institution of dismissal referendums of elected officials.
At the end of the debate, Eric Zemmour was again questioned about his intention, or not, to stand for the presidential election. And once again, the far-right polemicist left the doubt: ” We’ll see. You allow me to choose my moment. “ However, less than 200 days before the first round, “Do you realize that there are people who don’t even have a program?” “, had fun Mr. Mélenchon at the end of this debate, in a last spade to his opponent in the evening.