The Corner


European Commission Official: Europeans Would Never Use the Military Against Protests

European Commission Vice President, Margaritis Schinas listens during a panel discussion at a conference in Germany, February 16, 2020. (Andreas Gebert/Reuters)

Over in the Financial Times, Margaritis Schinas, a European Commission vice president, declares that European governments are “world champions” on human rights and took care of minority groups. (European minority groups could not be reached for a second opinion.) He also declared that European governments would never use military forces in response to protests. “What I can say is that in Europe we keep our armies only for our foreign enemies.”

A little more than a year ago today: “French military forces joined police in Paris on Saturday to tackle the nineteenth consecutive weekend of ‘yellow vest’ protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s government. Protesters were banned from gathering on the Champs Elysees after shops and businesses there were looted and wrecked last weekend, prompting the government to call in ‘Operation Sentinelle’ military units.”

Schinas apparently believes that military police do not count as part of the army. Otherwise, he would have to account for the use of Spanish military police in Catalan last year, Dutch military police  forcibly removing  climate protesters at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam last year, the Romanian Gendarmerie’s clash with protesters in 2018…

Maintaining that European pride and self-regard requires a somewhat selective memory.


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