French Green Party Leader Calls for Jewish and Muslim Bank Holidays

News Agencies – January 13, 2012


Speaking in Paris at her first campaign rally, Green presidential candidate Eva Joly argued that national holiday status should be accorded to the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Fitr and the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.

Currently six of the 12 national holidays in France are Catholic calendar events, with the other six having no religious connotation. “Each religion should benefit from equal treatment in the public sphere,” she said. “I believe that national holidays should also be accorded to faiths other than the Catholic faith.”

Joly’s proposals were rejected by all three leading parties. Minister of Higher Education and UMP member Laurent Wauqiez argued on French news channel BFM that “France’s national holidays have come about through our Christian history. We are not going to rub out our history.”

French Green municipal councillor wishes constituents happy Islamic new year

Dozens of posters were hung recently in the Paris suburb of Grigny, in which Christian Le Bras, Greens municipal councilor, wished a New Year to the residents on behalf of his party: “Europe Ecologie Grigny’s best wishes for this new year 1432-2011”. The Muslim Year 1432 started December 6th.

His party was very upset by the posters and has considered suing Christian Le Bras for fraudulent use of the party name. Christian Le Bras, for his part, says the posters were simply a nod to the many Muslim residents of the city. Le Bras says he got threats and protests and was treated as a collaborator, which was very shocking, since he’s the son of a Resistance member. The signs have since been removed.