France's Barnier Ramps Up Campaign With Military Service Pledge
Umer Jamshaid 4 days ago Tue 23rd November 2021 | 07:15 PM
France's former Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, who is bidding to become the presidential candidate of the right-wing Republicans, said Tuesday that if elected he would seek to bring back compulsory military service
Paris, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 23rd Nov, 2021 ) :France's former Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, who is bidding to become the presidential candidate of the right-wing Republicans, said Tuesday that if elected he would seek to bring back compulsory military service.
Barnier told France Info radio that if he was elected president parliament he would debate the creation of a six-month "military, security and civil protection service" for all men and women aged between 18 and 21.
"I see the risk for our country of patriotic sentiment disintegrating and eventually disappearing," Barnier said.
Barnier was given only a slim chance of making it onto the ballot when he announced his presidential bid in August, with the former EU commissioner seen as too technocratic for the cut and thrust of today's election campaigns.
But as the weeks passed, the 70-year-old billed by supporters as an unflappable "French Joe Biden" emerged as a frontrunner for the Republicans nomination despite polls showing he would not make it past the first round of the presidential election.
The polls currently show Macron beating a far-right candidate in the election run-off.
Barnier's proposal to bring back military service marks his latest attempt to woo conservative voters, who have also shifted to the right on issues including immigration and islam.
France's last conscripts were demobilised in 2001 after former president Jacques Chirac ended nearly a century of military service.
Bringing back a "universal national service" was a key pledge of Macron, who also billed it as a way to develop social cohesion.
Barnier's manifesto also includes a moratorium on immigration and a surprise call for France to take back its judicial independence from European courts, over which he was accusing of turning on the EU.