Chirac pledges inquiry into teaching of colonial history
In a bid to appeal to people of African origins in the country's troubled housing estates, he also backed fighting discrimination by pressing employers to accept anonymous job applications.
Answering questions from readers of the daily tabloid newspaper Le Parisien, he again distanced himself from the language of his interior minister and would-be successor, Nicolas Sarkozy, by warning politicians to choose their words carefully when commenting on suburban crime.
Mr Sarkozy had talked about la racaille - "rabble" or "riff-raff" but capable of being understood as "scum" - when asked about the recent troubles.
But Mr Chirac said: "When someone commits a crime, that person is a delinquent or criminal. Those are the terms that should be used."
A weekend poll suggested only one per cent of the French want Mr Chirac to stand for a third term in 2007 and his words could be seen as a politician attempting to improve his standing.
France and its past and present overseas possessions have been torn in recent days by controversy about new legislation requiring children to be taught about the "positive" aspects of colonialism.
Mr Sarkozy was forced to call off a visit to the French Caribbean départements of Martinique and Guadeloupe amid threats of protests.
comments powered by Disqus
- Hull of Confederate Submarine H.L. Hunley Found 150 Years Later
- U.S. Textbook Skews History, Prime Minister of Japan Says
- Recalling a Film From the Liberation of the Camps
- Skull Fossil Offers New Clues on Human Journey From Africa
- Are crude conspiracies right? Research shows nations really do go to war over oil
- Ronald Suny says historians have shied away from exploring the roots of the Armenian genocide for fear of taking attention away from the victims
- Columbia University professors Eric Foner, Alan Brinkley, and Alice Kessler-Harris to retire
- A powerhouse appropriations subcommittee is now headed by a historian: Republican Rep. Tom Cole (OK)
- Slavic scholars divided over a scholarship sponsored (and withdrawn) by Stephen F. Cohen
- Claire Strom to Step Down as Editor of Agricultural History