March 2, 2012 - 20:49 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Passions over the French Constitutional Council’s ruling flared up and gently faded following the latter’s decision declaring the bill penalizing the Armenian Genocide denial unconstitutional.
As expected, the whole history related to a subsequent adoption of the bill proved a big “swindle” for Armenians. The developments followed the previous scenario in France. Back in October 12, 2006, the French Nationally Assembly with 106 votes for and 19 against adopted a bill on criminalization of the Armenian Genocide denial. Then too, the draft law stipulated a 45,000 euro fine and a year in prison for anyone in France who denied this crime against humanity committed by the Ottoman Empire. The bill passage, however, was followed by threats from Turkey and its younger brother Azerbaijan regarding breaking ties and freezing military, trade cooperation with France. Proposals to take “austerity measures” towards France were heard.
Then, too, Presidential Candidate Nicolas Sarkozy pledged to foster passage of the bill penalizing Armenian Genocide denial.
In May, 2007, Sarkozy was elected president of France with Armenian community members having backed his candidacy.
However, on May 4, 2008, French Senate with 196 votes against and 74 for blocked the Genocide bill passed by National Assembly in 2006.
The legislative saga of 2011-2012 developed almost the same way this time, too. In fall, 2011, President of France Nicolas Sarkozy, now deprived of the Armenian community’s sympathy, threatened Turkey with adopting a bill criminating the Armenian Genocide denial if it doesn’t recognize the Armenian Genocide. This won back Armenian community’s sympathy with Sarkozy. On December 22, 2011, the French draft law criminating the Armenian Genocide negation was adopted by the French National Assembly.
On January 23, the French Senate passed the bill with 127 votes for and 86 against. If signed into law by the President, the bill would impose a 45,000 euro fine and a year in prison for anyone in France who denies this crime against humanity committed by the Ottoman Empire.
Pro-Turkish senators immediately addressed the Constitutional Council to consider the constitutionality of the bill. In response, Sarkozy pledged to raise the issue of constitutionality of the Holocaust bill. On February 29, the Council issued its ruling: unconstitutional. The French President hasn’t kept his promise up until now, though he has instructed to draft a new bill that would penalize the Armenian Genocide denial.
However, the French Senate goes on vacation soon and is unlikely to convene a snap meeting for the sake of the Armenian Genocide discussion, while the French presidential elections are scheduled for April 22, two days prior to the 97th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
Sarkozy proves to truly stand for the bill adoption; however the legislative vehicle foiled the expectations. Turkey’s threats to cut off ties with France, blocking its air and marine space for France turned out of no vital importance.
A question arises as to whether this was a preliminary developed scenario of a play titled “bill criminating the Armenian Genocide denial.” If yes, the leading actors had a brilliant play. It so happens, that current President of France easily bought the votes of Armenian community members in accordance with an earlier plan.
In January we were expected to wait for three months before April 22 to see if Sarkozy will keep his promise. He didn’t keep us waiting that long…