Anti and pro Fillon groups clashed this Saturday in Reunion, just before the arrival of the candidate at a photovoltaic farm in Étang Salé.
François Fillon arrived to a seemingly warm welcome on Saturday in Reunion, ensuring not to be “down” by the storm of fictitious job suspicions in his family. But the presidential candidate did not foresee that the visit would turn into a riot between his supporters and his opponents.
At around 5 pm local time, a small group of about 15 “anti-corruption” demonstrators were waiting for the former prime minister, holding placards saying “Give us the money”, at the entrance to a photovoltaic farm he was planning to visit in Étang Salé. But just before his arrival, pro-Fillon militants faced his opponents. According to a Le Parisien reporter at the scene, the situation degenerated and turned physical.
Police and security services are now trying to calm the crowds.
Petit comité d’accueil hostile à venue de Fillon à Étang Salé, La Réunion. pic.twitter.com/osKcLJ9tTu
— Olivier Beaumont (@olivierbeaumont) February 11, 2017
On his arrival at the airport this Saturday morning, François Fillon was warmly welcomed to the sound of the tambourine, songs and dances. “It is a real pleasure to return to Reunion Island, which I know well because I have often come here,” the candidate of the right had rejoiced. According to him, French territory is both “a symbol of the greatness of France and at the same time a summary of all the evils of our country, in particular unemployment and insecurity”. More than 40% of the island’s population lives below the poverty line.