There is a negative atmosphere on the far right. François-Xavier Bellamy and Thierry Mariani were the two main figures announced for the evening of the identitarian media event, Livre noir, on Saturday at the Cirque d’hiver in Paris. Its founder, Erik Tegnér, intends to bring together all the right-wing groups to debate their main topic: immigration. The two men know each other well. The first MEP is once again vying for the top spot on the Les Républicains list for the European elections, while the second hopes to be part of the Le Penist adventure behind Jordan Bardella. But the duo didn’t even wait for the debate to start quarreling. According to our information, « The Great Confrontation, » which will also serve as the launch party for the brand new magazine published this Thursday, will happen without them.
« I was eager to confront him! » François-Xavier Bellamy asserts. « But Mariani accepted the debate, on the sole condition that we don’t talk about Lebanon, Armenia, or Azerbaijan… », he denounces. The conservative elected official wanted to attack his opponent regarding a resolution on Lebanon, which they had argued about in Brussels.
Thierry Mariani is upset about the situation: « This is not a fair process! I was invited to talk about immigration from a European perspective for twenty minutes. International politics cannot be discussed in twenty minutes… » As a result, the MEP was the first to cancel his attendance last week and criticizes Livre Noir for their « amateurism » in adding these topics. « I am not Bellamy’s backup plan, » he remarks, as there is internal controversy within LR regarding the leadership of the 2024 list. « Mariani’s pro-Russian stance would have been too obvious, » adds a supporter of François-Xavier Bellamy.
Without delay, the organizers of the evening found the perfect replacement for the LR MEP: Vincent Jeanbrun.
« I cannot reword »
According to the organizers, the National Rally deputy Julien Odoul and former MEP Karim Zéribi will also participate in the debate. The latter, who has previously been associated with the Socialist Party and Europe Ecology-The Greens, is a regular contributor on Cyril Hanouna’s show « Balance ton post! » on C8 and CNews. In 2021, he was sentenced to three years of suspended prison and fined 80,000 euros for embezzlement and misuse of company assets. Additionally, according to Livre Noir, Georges Kuzmanovic, the former spokesperson for Jean-Luc Mélenchon and president of the party République souveraine, will discuss sovereignty issues with Eric Zemmour, while liberal essayist Ferghane Azihari will debate him on the topic of legalizing undocumented immigrants. A member of the presidential majority is also expected to attend.
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Olivier Ubéda, chef d’orchestre des meetings présidentiels d’Eric Zemmour, est à la manœuvre pour rythmer l’événement, qui s’inscrit en amont de la loi immigration et des européennes. « On ne veut pas que le débat soit enterré », insiste le fondateur de Livre noir, Erik Tegnér. Pour cela, il mise — en plus du magazine — sur six heures de discussions sur l’immigration… jusqu’à l’indigestion ?