Stop squabbling and vote!

By Eric Tréguier on 16.05.2019

The president of the Altrad group and president of the MHR (Montpellier Hérault Rugby), Mohed Altrad, throws himself into the political arena by calling for a vote for the LREM candidate, Nathalie Loiseau, in the framework of the next European elections.

Mohed Altrad, president of the Altrad group and of the MHR, Montpellier Hérault Rugby, supports the candidate LREM, Nathalie Loiseau. But above all, he makes a strong and significant gesture to promote Europe and asks people to vote.

"The elections for the European Parliament are just around the corner. They are close at hand. The campaign will open only in a few days, and we are already mentioning figures: abstention (60%), voting intentions for the “Rassemblement National” (22%) , which would put this party in the leading ones in France. These two figures challenged me and pushed me to write this short note. My journey from the banks of the Euphrates river to that of the Lez, from the Jezireh to Roussillon, hardly predisposes me to speak of Europe. It nevertheless allowed me to found an international group, thanks to which I could get to know Europe precisely, to discover the diversity of its cultures, their singularity as well as their complementarity, and to see how much they could enrich themselves. When I arrived in France I had little thing; not quite anything, we never have anything. I was not a privileged person. I was certainly not a rich man.

I had little but the future was open to me, opportunities were offered to me: knowledge, friendships, a city, Montpellier, a country, France and, beyond, a world of initiatives. It was up to me to seize these opportunities to shape my destiny. I did it, not without difficulties. I met rejection, I met goodwill. I did not despair. In 1985, I established my Group and, through it, I was able to visit the countries of the European Union whose - coincidentally theiridental dates coincided - the borders were going to be slaughtered in 1989. I met ostracisms, I met benevolent wills. While ostracism was limited, without imagination or unity, good had this identity that would cross borders, a unity of sight and feeling, deeper than all regulations and treaties; and for me, that is Europe. I would not want the movement to be overthrown, to create a front of resentment and Europe to find its aberrant unity in the hatred and hatred of all vis-à-vis all. I know that the European Union is a complex reality with a complicated history, sometimes difficult to read, that had to be built on the ruins of a war; and it is always and still to be built. Yes, Europe is a continuous effort. But it is a huge chance for exchange and cooperation, prosperity and bringing people together.

Stop populism

To seize this opportunity, we need to take part in the election of our representatives in the European Parliament. Whether they are elected to prolong the action taken or to amend it, it does not matter. It is necessary to vote. Because, contrary to the rumor that populism feeds, politicians are not all corrupt and officials & civil servants are not all technocrats. They are often, very often, competent people who strive, in this case, to build Europe through listening, dialogue, reflection and working together. If you want, as a voter, as part of a group of people, to make your voice heard, it is certainly not by turning away from elections and throwing yourself on the streets. I never thought that destruction had creative virtues. Make no mistake, the populist movements, which sprout up everywhere in this threatened Europe and in the world, do not betray a disenchantment of politics. These are politicised movements, which mobilise at every occasion and feed their strength with our weaknesses. We know it, we have heard it during the last presidential elections : extremism, from right or left, and their respective populisms, if they seem to be opposed on the national scene, they still come together and agree to reject the European Union.

But the European Union is not, it needs to be remembered, a set of laws, or even only a simple “common market”. It is above all an idea that favours companionship, agreements, friendship. Those who reject Europe also reject this idea. That is why we must mobilise to vote, for my part it will be by supporting the list conducted by Nathalie Loiseau. Vote to stop populism but vote, above all, to participate in the construction of this open Europe, this Europe of sharing where it is still good to live.”


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