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France: 52% believe apology is owed for colonisation of Algeria

"Here we drown Algerians" sign on Saint-Michel Bridge in Paris in 1961. Dozens of bodies were later pulled from the River Seine. [Wikipedia]
"Here we drown Algerians" sign on Saint-Michel Bridge in Paris in 1961. Dozens of bodies were later pulled from the River Seine. [Wikipedia]

Some 52 per cent of people in France believe that the government should officially apologise for “the killings and atrocities committed by the French army during the occupation of Algeria”, according to a poll by TSA.

Of those polled, 15 per cent were “very favourable” of the notion whilst 37 per cent thought it was “fairly good” for the French government to apologise.  Additionally, 21 per cent of French respondents said they were “strongly opposed” to any repentance.

The poll showed the disparity in results by age; with 61 per cent of those who voted in favour of an apology under the age of 35 whereas only 38 per cent of people aged 65 and over were in favour.

A further 32 per cent of those over 65 were opposed to an apology being made. “Those 65 and over experienced the war in Algeria. For them, it’s not just something you see in historical documentaries,” François Kraus of the IHOP institute said.

“This explains that in this generation, there are two-thirds of seniors who categorically refuse that apology,” Kraus explained.

There was also a marked difference in the number of men and women who were in favour of an apology being made with 56 per cent of women and 47 per cent of men supporting such a move.

The divide also reflects political standing; 74 per cent of supporters of the Left claim to favour an official apology from France in contrast to only 31 per cent of the Right.

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