The Past of Hope

               Historian François Furet wrote a book on communism entitled The Past of an Illusion. It is necessary to reread the Memoirs of the Future of Michel Jobert, who was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georges Pompidou and also Minister of François Mitterrand, and to think in these troubled times of a past that can bring hope.

Michel Jobert quotes President Pompidou’s remarks at the last Council of Ministers held a few days before his tragic death on 2 April 1974: 

«  France has only one possible posture : it is to hold on. Not holding out would be for our country to disappear as a nation – as an entity free of its decisions. But it would also disappear as an actor in the construction of Europe. If we hold on – and it will be long and difficult – we will have many difficulties and many troubles because essential things are at stake : we are a hindrance in raising them and we will be likely, in doing so, to encounter great hostilities; but there are things that France cannot admit.

«  I ask you in all the debates to raise your voice and rise to the heights of the national interest, without frills.

« The language you must use with the French must be similar to that of Clemenceau and, in the present circumstances, leave no room for ease, let alone demagogy. It’s never a good idea to be easy. »

 

 

     

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