Macron To Use National Tribute To Dead Napoleonic General In Election Battle - Historian
Faizan Hashmi Published July 15, 2021 | 12:10 AM
ST. PETERSBURG (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 15th July, 2021) The decision to hold a national commemoration of one of Napoleon's closest associates, Gen. Charles-Etienne Cesar Gudin, in December could be politically motivated and beneficial for President Emmanuel Macron ahead of the upcoming presidential election, Pierre Malinowski, the head of the foundation for the development of Russian-French historical initiatives, told Sputnik.
The general's remains were discovered by Malinowski in the summer of 2019 during excavations at the Royal Bastion in Lopatinsky Garden in Russia's Smolensk. On Tuesday, a jet with Gudin's remains landed in Paris.
"Minister-delegate to the French Ministry of Armed Forces Genevieve Darrieussecq announced that there will be a national funeral at the Invalides on the day of the Battle of Austerlitz, December 2 ... So you see, the official ceremony, which will be held just four months prior to the presidential election, will be beneficial for Macron. He will tell: 'look I am very patriotic, I honor history and its heroes;' but it won't be good for Marine Le Pen [President of the National Rally, Marcon's rival]," Malinowski said.
According to the historian, the question of whether Macron will take part in the ceremony on December 2 is still being decided.
"Macron wants to go but then the issue with Putin comes up again," he said, adding that "the French leadership and personally Emmanuel Macron was afraid that he would have to invite Russian President Putin to the ceremony in the current political circumstances."
Meanwhile, Thierry Mariani, a French lawmaker in the EU Parliament, told Sputnik that Gudin, whose name was engraved on the Arc de Triomphe, should have been paid tribute at the airport on the state level.
"It is incredible to put the politics ahead of history. By the fault of the sanctions because of [Russian opposition figure Alexey] Navalny and Malinowski's affiliation with Le Pen, the plan was changed. In addition, luckily for Macron, it was overshadowed by current political news on mandatory [COVID-19] vaccination [in France]," Mariani stressed.
Upon arrival of the plane with Gudin's remains, a ceremony was held at Le Bourget airport. Darrieussecq, the general's descendants and representatives of the Russian Embassy in France participated in the event.
France will head to the polls to elect the next president in April.