Boycott statement by the French Entrepreneurs’ Movement: “It’s not about bowing to blackmail, we are on the side of the government”


Geoffroy Roux de Bezieux

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“It’s not about succumbing to blackmail,” said Medef president Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and French President Emmanuel Macron, tensions between Turkey and several Arab countries to boycott French products were the main point of France’s agenda. French employers’ association “We are on the side of the government,” said the Minister of Commerce in France against the request for a boycott of Turkey “would be a retaliation,” he said.

“This is not about succumbing to blackmail,” said Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, head of the Movement of French Entrepreneurs (Medef), speaking on the RMC broadcast, speaking of the boycott requests.

More than 750,000 companies are members of Medef, founded in France in 1946. 90% of the members are small and medium-sized enterprises. Medef lobbies for French companies across the country and abroad and is considered to be one of France’s most established business movements.

Bézieux said that “it is necessary to uphold republican values” and said: “There comes a time when we must put principles before the development possibilities of our business. We are in complete solidarity with the French government and I urge companies to resist this. blackmail and unfortunately to accept this boycott for the moment “. .

Asked whether boycott calls to France will be answered with a boycott of products from the Middle East, Bézieux said: “We are not responding with stupidity.

French Minister: ‘We do not take revenge against Turkey’

French Commerce Minister Franck Riester said it was too early to say what the impact of the boycotts will be. “For now, we are just following the developments that will happen in the days to come,” Riester said. Riester said he is in contact with companies that sell food products such as “Bel, Lactalis and Danone”.

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French products have been removed from some shelves in Yemen.

Riester, RTL radio’s statement in response to Turkey’s boycott calls “will not take revenge on Turkey,” said.

Referring to the tension between France and the eastern Mediterranean and Libya in recent months, President Erdogan said: “Now I am calling my country, just as you are trying not to buy Turkish-branded products in France. Don’t buy French brands. “.

French Minister Riester, “Our agenda no retaliation” said, and noted that talks and relations with Turkey would continue.

The Turkish embassy in France also said the French Foreign Ministry’s Sunday share From the Twitter account “Calls for a boycott of French products deflect the positions France defends in favor of freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, freedom of religion and rejection of any appeal to hatred,” he said.

It is said that the most popular food, luxury brands, and cosmetic sales companies in Middle Eastern countries may be affected by the boycott calls.

Islamic Council of France: “Consider the interests of your country”

The president of the French Islamic Council (CFCM), Mohammed Moussaoui, also called on Muslims in France to “protect their country’s interests” from the boycott campaign.

Moussaoui said calls for a boycott would create a “split” and could be “a step backwards”.

“France is a great country, Muslim citizens are not persecuted, they can freely build mosques, live their beliefs freely,” said Moussaoui.

Speaking with France Info, French political scientist Prof. Bertrand Badie commented that “in the current situation the results may not be worrying”.

Turkey, as among those calling for a boycott of French products such as Jordan, Yemen, Kuwait, there is unity in Qatar.

According to official sources, the volume of France’s trade with these countries is not very high. According to the ministry’s report sharing annual foreign trade data, France’s exports to Qatar in 2019 were 3.2 billion euros.

In the same period, French exports to Germany amounted to € 70.1 billion. The countries of the Near and Middle East represent about 3% of French exports. Paris exports to the countries of the European Union are 58.7%.

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Some French cosmetics in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, have also been withdrawn from sale.

Professor Frédéric Encel of the Po Institute of Sciences believes the boycott decision is “unsustainable” for these countries. Speaking to the French broadcaster 20 Minutes, Encel said: “If this boycott continues, these countries could be subject to sanctions by the entire European Union. This is not a sustainable situation for them.”

Drawing attention to the “first calls to boycott French products” from Middle Eastern countries, Encel said this reaction should not be exaggerated.

Boycott in Arab countries

French hair care and beauty products in some supermarkets in Jordan, Kuwait, Yemen and Qatar have been removed from the shelves after French President Emmanuel Macron defended the right to display caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

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French products have also been removed from the shelves in Amman.

The Association of Consumer Cooperation Associations in Kuwait has called for a boycott of French products.

A hashtag about the boycott of the French food chain Carrefour in Saudi Arabia became the second most popular hashtag on social media on Sunday.

Some Egyptian politicians have also launched a boycott campaign against French products.

Similar protests have been seen in Libya, Syria and the Gaza Strip.

While Macron posted on his social media account “We will never submit” to these protests, the French Foreign Ministry said the calls for a boycott of “a radical minority” “had no basis”.

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