Eva Joly enraged by ‘racist attack’

Norway-born politician Eva Joly, the French Green movement’s presidential candidate, has slammed as “racist” a column in a prominent magazine that appears to mock her French accent.

Eva Joly enraged by 'racist attack'
Photo: Marie-Lan Nguyen (File)

Speaking to reporters in Paris on Sunday, Joly said the column in the weekly Le Point magazine was “a racist attack, a form of ostracism.”

She also branded the article by novelist Patrick Besson “symptomatic of the French state.”

“It’s a casual form of racism which seeks to remove from positions of power anybody not born in the right areas or the right territories.”

In his column, Besson depicted a scenario in which Joly had become president due to the sudden deaths of all the other candidates.

The entire column is written from the perspective of a heavily accented Joly, and begins with the greeting: “Zalut la Vrance!”

“He thinks this is of no consequence because it’s about a Norwegian kitted out with a German accent and not somebody from Africa or the Middle East,” said Joly.

Despite her anger at the piece, Joly said she did not intend taking legal action against the author or the magazine.

Joly, who turned 68 on Monday, is best known to the French as a campaigning magistrate against corruption who took on some of France's biggest business interests during the 1990s as an investigating judge.

Born, Gro Eva Farseth in Oslo, she moved to Paris when she was 20 to work as an au pair.

"In Norway, after high school, lots of young people left to move abroad to discover the world," she told French magazine Gala in a recent interview. "Paris and the Parisians represented the new wave, a certain way of living and a culture that was rich and passionate. This was in contrast to the Norwegians who were more thrifty and lovers of nature."

She married the older son of the family that employed her, a medical student, Pascal Joly, and used her middle name, Eva, as it was easier to pronounce in French.

Joly became a magistrate at 38, joining the High Court of Paris as an investigating judge specializing in finance in 1990.

Some of the major corporate interests and personalities she went up against included oil company Elf Aquitaine, well-known business tycoon Bernard Tapie and the Crédit Lyonnais bank. She was subjected to death threats during some of her cases and won admiration for her courage.

Her husband, Pascal, committed suicide in 2001 and Joly left her job in 2002, returning to Norway to work as an advisor on a global anti-corruption and money laundering commission.

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Norwegian Neo-Nazi faces expulsion

The Norwegian neo-Nazi who was arrested in July on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack, could face expulsion from France on charges of inciting racial hatred and glorifying war crimes, French magistrates said on Wednesday.

Norwegian Neo-Nazi faces expulsion
Kristian 'Varg' Vikernes, pictured in 1999 and Camouflaged vehicles outside his home in Corrèzes, central France. He was released on Thursday. Photos: AFP/Patrick Bernard
Kristian 'Varg' Virkenes, a former heavy metal musician, was served an indictment for race hate crimes based on posts he had made on his blog.
He wrote on his blog on Wednesday that he welcomed the chance to defend himself, and would use the court as a podium to promote his anti-immigrant views. 
"I can now publicly defend myself against the accusations of racism after all," he wrote. "I hope you all will, like I am going to do, use this for all it is worth for our struggle against the European genocide. Raise the sails, fellow vikings, from all over Europe, and (using only legal means, of course) sack the Sodom they have created, under the cross, the crescent and the star of David, on our sacred Pagan soil!" 
The neo-Nazi, who left Norway in 2009 to settle in rural France with his wife and children, was ordered to appear before a judge on October 17th, judicial sources told AFP on Wednesday.
The charges of “inciting racial hatred” and “glorifying war crimes” relate to blog posts which, according to prosecutors, were “anti-Semitic and xenophobic," as well as data retrieved from his computer, which had been confiscated by police.
Vikernes, whose nickname 'Varg' means 'wolf', made headlines across Europe in July when he was arrested on suspicion of plotting “a major terrorist attack” on French soil.
The authorities, who had been keeping him under surveillance, became alarmed when his wife purchased a number of rifles.
Vikernes was kept in custody for 48 hours while French police questioned him and his wife Marie Chachet as to why she, a licensed gun holder, had bought five weapons.
The interior ministry said at the time of the arrest that Vikernes was "close to the neo-Nazi movement" and could have been preparing a "major terrorist act".
However, Interior Minister Manuel Valls later conceded no specific target or project had been identified, but authorities had decided to "act before and not afterwards."
He was released when the authorities could find no evidence to justify bringing charges against him. 
Vikernes has himself vowed to sue French authorities for arresting him "for no good reason whatsoever, doing so in the most brutal way possible, with children present”.
He appealed for help on his blog for supporters to make financial donations to help pay for the legal fees.
In his blog, he complained that the authorities had not yet returned either his firearms or his ceremonial weaponry, including "decorative swords, [a] helmet, two spears, [his] wife’s flint knives, and all sorts of other things too, most of them with great affection value". 
In May 1994, Vikernes was sentenced to 21 years in prison for murdering the guitarist of a rival metal band and setting fire to churches in Norway.
He moved to France upon his release in early 2009, where he settled with his wife and children. 
He complained in his blog that his wife Marie had a "crime record as white as snow" and so should be permitted to own firearms. 
"I have a record in Norway but I have never done anything criminal in France, and I can own weapons even in Norway if I want to," he added.