François Asselineau (French pronunciation: [fʁɑ̃swa asəlino], born September 14, 1957) is a French politician and an Inspector General for finances.
Asselineau was a member of the Rally for France (RPF) and UMP before creating his own political party the Popular Republican Union (Union Populaire Républicaine or UPR). His movement promotes France's unilateral withdrawal from the European Union, the Eurozone and NATO.
Considered a "souverainiste", he is also viewed by many observers as a conspiracy theorist. Arrêt sur images describes him as "a right wing 'énarque', bordering on the far-right".
Asselineau has had a troubled relationship with the media, which he has repeatedly accused of "censorship". In his critique he includes French Wikipedia, which has considered him insufficiently noteworthy to justify a page in the encyclopedia. The activism of his supporters to try and increase media coverage of Asselineau and the UPR has been noted by several observers.
Asselineau enrolled in HEC Paris where he graduated in 1980 with the MSc in Management. He enrolled at the École nationale d'administration (promotion "Léonard de Vinci", 1985).
Asselineau started his career in Japan in the department of economic expansion for National Service Overseas (CSNE). Served in 1985 as inspector General in the inspection générale des Finances.
From 1989 to 1990, he was chief of mission for the National Credit. He was also president of the direction of the Society for Economical and Financial Analysis and Diagnostic (SADEF). In 1991, he became chief of mission of the Asia-Oceania office at the Direction of Foreign Economical Relation (DREE) in the Ministry of Economy and Finance under the Pierre Bérégovoy government.
From 1994 to 1995, he served as counsellor for international affairs in the Ministry of Industry under the Edouard Balladur government.
In June 1995, he was named director of the office of the Ministry of Tourism. In 1996, he moved to the ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he was in charge of economic matters for Asia, Oceania and Latin America until the dissolution of parliament by Jacques Chirac in 1997.
In 1999, François Asselineau got involved in politics by becoming a member of the Rally for France (RPF), a party created by Charles Pasqua and Philippe de Villiers. He became a member of the national bureau, director of studies and spokesman of the party until autumn 2005. On July 27, 2000, he became vice-director of the general council of the Hauts-de-Seine. He was in charge of economic and international affairs. On May 23, 2001, Charles Pasqua nominated François Asselineau as the director of his office of the presidency of the general council of Hauts-de-Seine where he worked until March 30, 2004 when Nicolas Sarkozy took over the position of Charles Pasqua.
On October 20, 2004, Nicolas Sarkozy appointed Asselineau as the director of the general delegation for economic intelligence within the Minister of Economy and Finance.
In November 2006, Asselineau joined the steering committee of Rally for an Independent and Sovereign France (RIF), a party created by Paul-Marie Coûteaux,
On March 19, 2001, he was elected as a member of the council of Paris in the 19e arrondissement de Paris. His list, a right-wing dissident list made with an agreement between Jean Tiberi and Charles Pasqua, was in a triangular against a Rally for the Republic (RPR) list and unified left list composed with Socialist Party (PS).
On December 31, 2004, Asselineau decided to join the group Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) at the Council of Paris. On November 3, 2006, he decided to quit the group and seat with the non-inscrits just after Françoise de Panafieu, for whom he worked, was elected president of the council of Paris for the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP).
In September 2007, Asselineau participated in a dissident political group named Paris Libre with several other ex-UMP members. The group ran several lists against the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), and Asselineau ran a list in the 17e arrondissement de Paris against Françoise de Panafieu. However, he then backtracked, denouncing consequent pressure on the members of his list.
Creation of the UPR
On March 25, 2007, for the 50th anniversary of the Rome Treaty signature, he created the Popular Republican Union (UPR).
In January 2011, Asselineau announced his intention to run for the 2012 French presidential election, and confirmed this intention in December 2011. However, François Asselineau was only able to garner 17 of the necessary 500 endorsements from elected politicians necessary to be on the ballot. As such, Asselineau called for a boycott of the presidential election.
Following the Cahuzac affair and the resignation of Jérôme Cahuzac for whom Asselineau had worked as a civil servant in the Ministry of Finance, Asselineau run for the legislative by-election in the Lot-et-Garonne's 3rd constituencywith Régis Chamagne. They failed to reach the second round with a score of 189 votes (0.58%).
Asselineau ran for the 2014 European Parliament election as the head of the list for the Île-de-France constituency. He hoped that the UPR's agenda could rally voters disappointed by the current political system. Asselineau complained to CSA for not having had access to mainstream media; he also claimed that the principle of equity for all candidates was actually undermined by the media, that tended to give voice to parties that were already well-known. He scored 0.56% of votes cast in his constituency.
François Asselineau's 'souverainiste' platform has two main targets, the European Union and the United States. He insists that France should leave the Eurozone, the European Union, and NATO. According to Asselineau, the EU and NATO "as seen from Washington...are the political and military side of the same coin, that of the enthrallment of the European continent to their 'buffer zone' so as to surround and contain the Russian continental power". He says the process leading to European unification was launched solely upon orders from the American government.
Asselineau denies he is a "eurosceptic", preferring to call himself a "euro-atheist". He said on the French TV program On n'est pas couché he opposes military intervention in Syria and Iraq.:27'45"
Asselineau claims to derive his ideas from the 1944 Conseil national de la Résistance, which he claimed as his source of inspiration for his presidential program in 2012, including "re-nationalisations" and "quality public services". Asselineau does not say what should be done about "the major national issues such as nuclear power in France, the French debt crisis or the decisions to be made about immigration, [which] should be addressed through referenda", "once France has left the European Union".
The large regional daily newspaper Sud-Ouest notes that Rudy Reichstadt, the coordinator of Conspiracy Watch, summed up François Asselineau's ideas as being "utter souverainisme interlaced with anti-US conspiracy theories ("un souverainisme intégral mâtiné de théorie du complot anti-américaine") and views his strategy as aiming at launching a kind of "take-over bid" on this part of the public enticed by the conspiracist approach of such websites as Réseau Voltaire or Alain Soral's Égalité et Réconciliation.
The journalist Laure Daussy observed on the Arrêt sur images website that Asselineau's videoconferences on YouTube include claims that "Marine Le Pen is entrusted with ruining [his] discourse" and that her party, the National Front "was an invention of François Mitterrand and Jacques Attali" and had been financed by "the financial arm of the [French] Moonies, Pierre Ceyrac and CAUSA International, by the CIA, and behind them by the Bush family", whose "fortune manager, the Carlyle group (...) is represented in France by Yves de Chaisemartin, the owner of 25% of the magazine Marianne which promotes Marine Le Pen in order to have Dominique Strauss-Kahn elected". Asselineau also told the regional newspaper Nord Éclair that the National Front's intention of leaving the European Union is part of the "smokescreen" of the French political theatre and that they do not want to do so at all.