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The leader of MEDEF, the Federation of Employers in France, said French companies should not give in to « blackmail » following the boycott of French products by certain customers and stores in predominantly Muslim countries
Calls for a boycott began after President Macron said Thursday that France would not end its tradition of satirical cartoons, which sometimes ridicule religions
Macron made the statement in a special ceremony honoring Professor Samuel Paty who was beheaded on October 16 by an Islamist terrorist after showing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in a lesson on free speech
Speaking on French radio on Monday, MEDEF President Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux said companies should « put French principles ahead of trade agreements »
However, the leader of Medef was not in favor of a direct boycott of goods from the countries concerned, advising not to « respond to stupidity with more stupidity »
French products have been withdrawn from some stores in Kuwait, Jordan and Qatar, while there have been protests in Libya and the Gaza Strip
Online, calls for similar boycotts in other predominantly Muslim countries, such as Saudi Arabia, have circulated
Roux de Bézieux called the boycott « bad news » but noted that at present the movement was quite localized
The declaration claims that French positions on freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, freedom of religion and hate speech have been distorted by radical minorities who wish to pursue their political goals
France will urge governments and authorities abroad to dissociate themselves from these calls for a boycott of France and also to ensure the security of all French companies or citizens on their territory, the statement said.
France, Emmanuel Macron, Mouvement des Entreprises de France
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