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Hashtag 'Boycott French Products' trends in Algeria after Macron's insult

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The file photo shows Algeria's national flag (L) next to the French flag.

Algerian activists have launched a widespread social media campaign demanding the boycott of French products and expulsion of France's ambassador from the North African country following recent incendiary remarks by the Elysée Palace occupant.

Algerians took to Twitter and other social media platforms to reflect the extent of the country’s popular resentment of the offensive remarks recently made by French President Emmanuel Macron about Algeria’s ancient history.

Macron accused the ruling elite in Algeria of "feeding a grudge against France," and questioned the existence of an Algerian nation before French colonialism entered the country in 1830.

The Algerian activists called the French president "ignorant" and urged a decisive response to Macron’s "encroachment" on the country's history by promoting the hashtags of “Boycott of France" and “Boycott  French Products” as well as "Expulsion of the French Ambassador, a Popular Demand.”

The "Boycott French Products” was widely circulated in Arabic, French and English, with the activists sharing tables that classified French products and introduced Algerian products as a substitute.

Mohamed Al-Saghir, one of the most prominent promoters of the hashtag, said in a tweet, "Macron will not compete with anyone in the last decade in attacking Islam, creating crises and fueling conflict with Muslims."

Activist Khawla tweeted, "The people always stand up to the attacks against the country, to boycott French and French products."

"Our daily duty is not to forget to boycott French products," another activist wrote in a tweet, while another one said, "Two days ago, Algeria summoned its ambassador to France for consultations and banned the flights of military aircraft. This is the country that respects itself."

In his remarks reported by the French newspaper Le Monde on Sunday, Macron claimed that the Algerian government had “totally re-written” the country’s history “not based on truths” but “on a discourse of hatred toward France.”

The French president also ordered the number of Algerian and Moroccan visas to be sharply reduced by 50 percent compared to 2020.

Paris said the decision had been made necessary by the former French colony’s failure to do enough to allow illegal migrants in France to be returned.

Since Macron’s remarks, the Algerian government has responded by summoning the country's ambassador to France for consultations, issuing a statement of denunciation and closing Algerian airspace to French military aircraft operating on the African coast.

The Algerian government is also reportedly considering to review economic and trade relations with the former colonizer.


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