In an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Morteza Makki explained: Algeria was under the French colonial rule for about 130 years, and in 1962, after eight years of struggle and uprising of the Algerian people against France, with more than one and a half million dead, it gained independence.
According to the expert, due to the history of Algeria’s colonial relationship with France, there are many Algerian nationals in France. The number of Algerians in France is estimated at around 3 million people.
Makki added: This history of colonial relations, both before and after the independence of Algeria, has always been the focus of attention of political and media circles.
Referring to Macron’s indirect statements about France’s colonial history in Algeria, Makki said: Although in this trip Macron tried to somehow ask the Algerians to forget the past and not consider France as their enemy, so that the relations between the two countries will be placed on true path, the Algerians, who have always wanted an official apology from France and payment of compensation to their country, were not happy with his words, as during the visit of the French president to Algeria, expressed their opposition and strong protests against France’s past measures in their country.
According to the expert, although Macron has expressed his desire for the improvement of relations with Algeria, no action has been taken by him to bring the Algerian public opinion together, just as the previous presidents of France were never willing to apologize to the people of that country for French colonial actions in that country.
The expert on Europe affairs discussed the relations between the two countries after the independence of Algeria and said: France has always been the first or second commercial partner of Algeria, and French companies have had a strong presence in Algeria. On the other hand, considering that Algeria is a producer of oil and gas and is also a member of OPEC, it is among the major exporters of oil and gas to France.
Makki believes that this issue was the main motivation for Macron to visit Algeria and other issues were overshadowed by the export of Algerian oil and gas to France.
Referring to the energy crisis and its impact on France, the expert on Europe affairs also said: This crisis has also put pressure on France, like other European countries, for being under pressure due to the shortage of energy supply from Russia, to the extent that Elizabeth Bourne The Prime Minister of France, has announced that in order to optimally manage electricity consumption, French electricity will be cut off for two hours a day. This is an unprecedented or rare event in European countries, whose people always enjoy special prosperity.
He continued: Before his trip to Algeria, in his speech to the French people, Macron called for the ‘tightening of belts’ due to the end of the period of prosperity and comfort.
The expert, explaining the view of the Algerian people towards France due to the country’s colonial history, said: Algerian people have always been and are angry and upset with the colonization of their country by the French, and like many other Africans under the influence of European countries, they demand compensation from colonializing countries.
He emphasized that during the 130 years of colonialism in Algeria, the French looted almost everything in that country, and more importantly, from 1954 to 1962, they massacred one and a half million Algerians. The manner of massacre of Algerians by French soldiers is not even comparable to the brutal crimes of the Takfiri and terrorist groups such as the ISIS.
Regarding Elysee’s view on this issue, he also explained: The French government has never been willing to accept the colonialism of the Algerian people and pay compensation. During the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy, a bill was approved in the French National Assembly, in which the French Ministry of Education was obliged to include the colonialism of Algeria as a positive historical event in textbooks. A bill that had a great impact in Algeria at the time and created serious political tension between France and Algeria.
According to the expert, if the president and other French officials want to acknowledge Algeria’s colonialism, they will have a heavy legal responsibility to pay compensation to Algeria.
Makki finally analyzed the current relations between the two countries and said: Despite all the tensions and demands of the Algerian people from France, the Algerian government has tried to have official and stable relations with Paris and other European capitals, because the economic benefits of those relations has led the political and historical issues in Paris-Algeria relations to the sidelines.