The mask slips: Marine Le Pen backs ex-generals who threaten possible 'coup'


A letter signed by 23 retired French generals, who warn that the military might have to “intervene” in a “civil war” because of a failure by the French state to crack down on “Islamists”, has caused a political row. Defence minister Florence Parly has warned of “consequences” for any active soldiers on the list of signatories, which includes scores of other senior ranks. Meanwhile Marine Le Pen, the president of the far-right Rassemblement National (RN) party, has given the retired generals her support. As Lucie Delaporte reports, her backing for such views is a stark reminder of what the RN really stands for, after a decade in which Le Pen has sought to soften the party's image.

Reading articles is for subscribers only. Subscribe now.

A letter signed by 23 retired generals and scores of other former high-ranking officers which threatens the possibility of military intervention over France's 'failure' to tackle Islamists who are causing the country to “disintegrate” has sparked a political controversy. The letter to the right-wing magazine Valeurs Actuelles published on April 21st eventually led to the intervention of defence minister Florence Parly who said that there would be “consequences” for any signatory who still has an active or reserve role in the country's armed forces. “The military are not there to campaign, but to defend France and protect the French,” she told France Info radio on Monday April 26th.