The New Gaullists
What surprise does political France offer in its search for the Third Way?
June 1, 2000
Lately, Nicole Fontaine, the President of the European Parliament, has had her mind fixated on the fate of France’s working people more than anything else. Addressing EU leaders, Madame Fontaine — who is a Gaullist and hence a conservative by anybody’s reckoning — recently expressed deep concern about the social impact of the mega-mergers and hostile takeovers sweeping over Europe.
In this regard, Madame Fontaine sounds not unlike French Premier Lionel Jospin, a Socialist — and, one would think, Madame Fontaine’s ideological opposite.
A socialist in Gaullist clothing?
In her public remarks, she lashed out against “untrammeled capitalism, social dumping, ruthless exploitation and the remorseless pursuit of profit at the cost of the working men and women.”
If this is the new voice of the French Gaullists, one must truly wonder what words French Socialists are supposed to use to describe the current state of affairs in Europe. Jospin’s people should definitely do a better job protecting their turf.