After the Senate in February, it was the National Assembly which in turn ratified the agreement between Qatar and France. Signed in March 2021 in Doha by the Prime Minister at the time, Edouard Philippe, this partnership cringes the opposition, which opposes the government with the death of workers on the construction sites of Qatari stadiums.
>> 2022 World Cup in Qatar: behind the brand new stadiums and metro, exploited workers… and some social progress
What is provided by the agreement?
The text « aims to ensure a high level of security for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, through technical advice and operational assistance actions »according to its article 1. Clearly, it is above all an exchange of expertise to ensure the security of the 2022 World Cup.
In detail, according to the details given in the hemicycle by the rapporteur for the text, Amélia Lakrafi, France will send « 21 specialized GIGN operators, 170 anti-drone operators, 10 demining operators, 10 explosives search canine teams and 5 to 8 experts provided by the national division for the fight against hooliganism (DNLH) « for a total « about 220 French experts ».
In addition to human resources, Qatar has requested the sending of equipment and could « express additional needs » in October 2022, a few weeks before the first kick-off.
If no member of the Renaissance group or its allies (MoDem and Horizons) present opposed the text, the Nupes and National Rally groups voted against. The group Les Républicains did not participate in the vote for the most part.
What are the opponents accusing of this agreement?
The Nupes groups have frontally attacked this international agreement, recalling in particular on several occasions the working conditions of the workers « quasi-slaves » for the construction of stadiums. « In ten years, 6,500 overworked workers have died on construction sites. Under every lawn, there is a cemetery! »thus launched the boss of the PS Olivier Faure, when his rebellious colleague Louis Boyard wondered: « How to play ball on a pile of corpses? »
« Diplomacy is also the signs that we send, the balance of power that we create, the eyes that we do not close when basic human rights are despised. »Olivier Faure
to the National Assembly
On the side of the National Rally too, we were moved by the contempt for human rights in the Qatari kingdom. « Everyone sits happily on human rights » for « a few billion more », denounced Caroline Parmentier. Finally, several MEPs castigated the « ecological scandal » that constitutes the organization of this World Cup, strongly criticized for the construction of multiple air-conditioned stadiums.
Nothing unacceptable for the government or the majority. On franceinfo, Karl Olive, MP for Yvelines, said: “It is not a question of being an ambassador of Qatar, no longer a prosecutor”.
Partnership agreement between France and Qatar ➡️ « We must not confuse and mix what does not have to be mixed. At this time, we can also remember that at the time of the construction of the Eiffel Tower, there were more than 300 dead”, replies Karl Olive. pic.twitter.com/utGuX2ilXS
— franceinfo (@franceinfo) August 5, 2022
Better still, for Amélia Lakrafi, this partnership is an opportunity to « defend the interests of France, promote the influence of French expertise and ensure the protection of visitors ». The MP for the majority assured that the issues of respect for human rights or the carbon footprint have been addressed.
« The organization of the World Cup pushed Qatar to make significant progress », in particular « the abolition of kafala, which provided that foreign workers had to undergo guardianship » or « the establishment of a minimum wage for unskilled expatriate workers ».Amelia Lakrafi
to the National Assembly
Last line of criticism: the recent incidents at the Stade de France, mentioned by several deputies.
Is this a unique deal?
No. The Minister for Foreign Trade and Attractiveness Olivier Becht described the « security » sporting events such as « strong axis » bilateral cooperation between France and Qatar. He notably recalled two precedents: the 2006 Asian Games and the 2021 Arab Cup of Nations.