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Gilles Bourdouleix, “Hitler didn’t Kill enough Travellers” “resigns” from UDI

This is a cross post by Andrew Coates from Tendance Coatsey

Bourdouleix: Hitler Didn’t Kill Enough Travellers.

MP Gilles Bourdouleixthreatened with expulsion from the UDI for his statements about Hitler and travellers jas  ”resigned” from the ‘centrist’  party of Jean-Louis Borloo .

Gilles Bourdouleix is also the Mayor of Chole, in Maine-et-Loire. He sent a letter of resignation a few hours before the leadership of the  party meet in the National Assembly to discuss the issue of his expelling him from the party. In a short statement, the UDI announced that it has “taken note of his resignation with immediate effect” .

Visiting a a plot in Cholet  where travellers had set up their caravans, Gilles Bourdouleix  made the following comments about the “gens du voyage” (the preferred term in France for travellers). He cited the Nazis, saying: ““Comme quoi, Hitler n’en a peut-être pas tué assez”. “Well, perhaps Hitler didn’t kill enough of them.”

His comments have provoked strong political reactions, especially within his party. An investigation has been opening into prosecuting  Gilles Bourdouleix for justifying crimes against humanity” – illegal under French law.

Le Monde (adapted).

The UDI (Union des démocrates et indépendants) claims to be a party of the ‘centre’, that is it was opposed to Nicolas Sarkozy.

It is led by Jean-Louis Borloo and had 30 deputies in the National Assembly (Parliament).

He announced plans to set up “a republican, ecologist, and social alliance” with a view to present a candidate in the 2012 presidential election.[4] However, he decided not to run for the election.

In September 2012, he created the Union for Democrats and Independents, trying to unify all the Centrist parties.

However it also contains the  ”independents” of the CNIP (Centre national des indépendants et paysans).

Bourdouleix is the  president of this grouping.

The CNIP was a real force under the 4th Republic, gaining up to 14% of the vote in the 1950s.

Wikipedia says,

The CNIP was an anti-communist party, strongly supported and financed by employers, colonial and agricultural lobbies.[1] While the CNIP was more economically liberal than the Christian democratic Popular Republican Movement (MRP), like the MRP it supported European integration and NATO. It was, however, a militant defender of French Algeria throughout the Algerian War.

It lost out after De Gaulle recognised Algerian independence and created the 5th republic.

The party never regained its former strength and became a marginal conservative group. In the 1980s, it attempted to serve as a ‘bridge’ between the parliamentary right (RPR andUDF) and the far-right (FN). In the 1986 election, CNIP members appeared on RPR-UDF lists but it won three seats through local alliances with the FN in some departments.

This is a rather anodyne way of talking about a political network that did its best to stir up hysteria against the French left government of the time and President Mitterrand.

Most people during the 1980s would have simply classed them as on the far-right.

This is not the first time that has railed against travellers and Roms (see Le Monde).

Clearly the CNIP has not changed since the 1980s.