Former Prime Minister of France: “The Americans are going too far”

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TR France June 10, 2015

June 11, 2015
Translated from French by Tom Winter

François Fillon, the deputy of the Republicans, condemned US interference in every area of life in Europe, and declared “The Americans are going too far,” on “Bourdin Direct” on channels BFMTV and RMC Wednesday.

In his interview with Jean-Jacques Bourdin Wednesday, the former Prime Minister was asked several questions on current events, including the return of PM Manuel Valls from the League of Champions finale on an Air Force plane and on France’s economic situation. But he spoke most firmly toward the end of the interview when the subject of the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TTIP) came up.

“The way things are now, I am against signing the TTIP treaty,” stressed Fillon, and he declared himself “shocked” that the American judiciary “thinks it is free to intervene anywhere in the world.”

“The American judiciary encroaches constantly on the justice system of the European countries,” he said, addressing the part of the TTIP which raises the greatest controversy, the private tribunals that treaty opponents see as a kick in the face to to the sovereignty of the state, and that entail evaluating the risk of having to pay off an indemnity before making any decision that could affect the profits of some American corporation.

The private tribunals are a mechanism of arbitration that permit a company to get damages from a state for its adoption of this or that socio-economic measure.

The former Prime Minister likewise recalled certain instances of abuse by American justice, notably the penalty against BNP Paribas [Banque Nationale de Paris] “for matters that didn’t concern the US at all.” 

“It’s the fact the US thinks every transaction in dollars opens a pathway for litigation to American justice — that’s the problem,” he stressed, noting that instances of violation of American embargoes against Sudan, Cuba, and Iran, that led to penalties, didn’t even happen on American soil.

“Today, Europe is not independent,” he declared. “The US pressured Germany to find a compromise with Greece; the German intelligence service are spying on France, not on their own account, but for the US. The US gets us on board for a crusade against Russia, a crusade contrary to the interests of Europe; the US conduct a policy in the Middle East that is extraordinarily dangerous for us,” he said, before adding that he wanted to open the debate on the question “How to bring about Europe’ Independence?”

“We have to tell the Americans that they’re going too far.” We can’t deal so long as there isn’t a clarification of the place of the US in Europe,” said the candidate in the primary of the Republicans. “Every day, we uncover some sort of imperialism, and it’s the effect of the power and the workings of the US politial system,” he concluded.

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