Excerpts from the interview, April 2, 2020; translated by Tom Sunic.
..A few years ago I wrote that only in a state of emergency one can take full measure of somebody. Now we know where we are at. A statesman makes decisions, gives orders and requisitions. Macron, however, relies on the advice of “experts” who, as a rule, never agree with each other.
..There was a wish to include in the logic of the (free) market a sector which by definition lies outside the free market. Public services have been systematically weakened and destroyed. Now it is us who are paying the price. And this is just the beginning, because the confinement will last for weeks, if not for months. We are not at the end of the beginning, much less at the beginning of the end.
..At the start, as a rule, everyone stands together. However, as we arrive at “the day after” and when the time comes for accountability, the people’s judgment will show no mercy. If this matter ends up, as I suspect it will, in a social crisis of huge magnitude, then the Yellow Vests movement will look like, more than ever before, as a dress rehearsal. We can now clearly see that it will be most difficult for the working class and the middle class to put up with [coronavirus] confinement.
..[The European Union ] didn’t commit suicide for the simple reason that it had already been dead. One of the merits of the crisis has been to allow everybody to see its dead body. Faced with the epidemic the leaders of the European Commission are showing signs of shock. They are now going to release funds which will be distribute by “helicopter,” after ramping up the monetary printing press. But in real terms nothing comes of it. It was not Europe that came to the rescue of Italy, but China, Russia and Cuba. Fidel Castro’s posthumous revenge!
..[The economic crisis ] will last much longer than the current epidemic; it will do far more damage and kill far more people. If it goes hand in hand with a global financial crisis, we will be witnessing then a tsunami: an economic crisis and therefore a social crisis, financial crisis, health crisis, ecological crisis, migration crisis. In 2011 I published a book called Au bord du gouffre (On the Brink of the Abyss). It seems to me that we have arrived there now.
..We should also anticipate political and geopolitical consequences of staggering proportions. The unfolding of the epidemic in a country such as the United States, whose health system, organized of course in a liberal fashion, is one of the world’s least performing, will be challenged to play a decisive role. It must be followed very closely (the global epicenter of the epidemic today is New York). The United States will likely come out of it much weaker than Russia and China, its only two rivals for the time being. Again, we are only at the beginning…