This is what we can call a nice missed turn. Questioned Wednesday morning on France Info, Carole Delga wanted to extol the benefits of immigration. "It's a richness. Who made hospitals, retirement homes work during the Covid crisis? There were many immigrants," said the socialist president of the Occitanie region. Before seriously tangling the brushes: "Who are the favorite personalities of the French? It's Kylian Mbappé, Yannick Noah... Problem: the two men are not immigrants... but French.
"They come from other countries," Carole Delga tried to catch up, referring to the parents of the 2018 football world champion and the 1983 Roland Garros winner. But again, it is to forget that the mother of Kylian MBappé as that of Yannick Noah were born in France ... "What I mean is that in politics, you can't stigmatize immigration," Delga said.
"Wouldn't that sound like racism?"
Not enough to prevent the rain of reactions on the left. "Carole Delga displays her prejudices about the nationality of French people according to their skin color. Appalling contamination by the clichés of the extreme right. All these people are defeating the France instead of building its unity every day. Occitania deserves better," said Jean-Luc Mélenchon on Twitter. "We ask her a question about the regularization of undocumented migrants and Carole Delga answers by talking about Kylian MBappé and Yannick Noah. They are French, born in France. Confusing skin color and nationality, wouldn't that look like racism?" asked Green MP Sandra Regol.
To defuse the controversy, Carole Delga preferred to publicly retract her remarks. "My name is Delga. 1st, 2nd, 100th generation, we are all children of immigrants. In the face of those who brandish immigration as a threat, I recalled that it is a richness, a contribution to the genius and success of our country. I regret having expressed myself badly," she acknowledged on Twitter.
For once, the president of the Occitanie region was supported by the first secretary of the PS, Olivier Faure. Between the two, however, relations have been very fresh for months. "False trial made to Carole Delga", he defended him. "His words clarified, the left must move the debate forward. The PS I lead will always be uncompromising with the racists. The Republic recognizes all its children without reference to their origins or skin color," he said.