Sarkozy won't be offering apologies for slavery as Chirac did





PARIS -- Repentance for the sins of the past has come easy to President Jacques Chirac. He will be remembered as the first French leader to recognize the country’s crimes against Jews in World War II and to commemorate formally its complicity in African slavery.

President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy, by contrast, does not believe in saying he is sorry.

“I’m going to make the French proud of France again,” Mr. Sarkozy said in his speech after he was elected president on Sunday. “I am going to bring an end to repentance, which is a form of self-hatred, and the battle of memories that feeds hatred of others.”

But when Mr. Chirac pointedly asked Mr. Sarkozy to attend a ceremony remembering the victims of the French slave trade and celebrating the abolition of slavery, he could not refuse.



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Juan Antonio Hervada-Giménez - 5/12/2007

Would today's inhabitants of Rome say they are sorry for Caligula? Are the Saudi royal family members to ask for forgivance of "their" secular gusto for slave trading?

Collective guilt is an absurdity and, beyond aesthetics, the origin of many a genocide.