chapter  2
40 Pages

The Meanders of French Policy Under the Right: 'Cohabitation' (April 1993 - May 1995)

ByCamille Bonora-Waisman

France's Algeria policy under the premiership of Edouard Balladur is quite difficult to decipher. To make sense of France's Algeria policy under Balladur, this chapter focuses on the two periods characterising his shifting policy: buttressing governmental eradicators in Algeria until September 1994 and showing greater firmness against them afterwards. 'Cohabitation' between the socialist president and the right-wing government did not cause many problems throughout Balladur's premiership, at least in so far as Algeria was concerned. Even though France's policy was defined in this specific context, it remained its constant message throughout Balladur's mandate. The Balladur government's soft attitude vis-a-vis the Algerian authorities' negotiation strategy with the banned party also gives added weight to the argument that the French government opposed a compromise with the Islamic Salvation Front. French political parties in the opposition were surprisingly silent over the Balladur government's policy. The Algerian regime, or some of its elements, also used less classical methods.