"I felt as if I was faced with a French Honecker" : The French Communist Party Confronted with a World that was Falling Apart (1985-1991) - Université de Bourgogne Accéder directement au contenu
Chapitre D'ouvrage Année : 2019

"I felt as if I was faced with a French Honecker" : The French Communist Party Confronted with a World that was Falling Apart (1985-1991)

Résumé

At the end of the 1980s, Mikhail Gorbachev met Georges Marchais, the general secretary of the PCF (Parti communiste français, i.e. French Communist Party), leader of one of the most important Western communist parties. After the meeting with Marchais, Andrei Gratchev, Gorbachev’s political advisor, remarked: “I felt as if I were faced with a French Honecker. He didn’t listen to what we told him. The new direction taken by Moscow didn’t seem to interest him.” Fundamentally, confronted with Gorbachev’s reforms, the PCF leadership expressed a lot of skepticism. Initially, they seemed interested but it became rapidly clear that they were, in fact, quite critical of the Soviet government’s policies. Then in 1989, when the Eastern Bloc regimes were collapsing one after the other, they remained perfectly silent, and simply took note of the events. Finally, in 1991, the PCF leaders—like the French president François Mitterrand himself—considered the coup d’état that had just taken place in the USSR as an act of “realpolitik.” However, the attitude of the PCF leadership toward this important event remained very ambiguous to say the least. This chapter considers the PCF faced with the following events: political change in Gorbachev’s USSR; Soviet foreign policy in the 1980s; and the coup d’état of 1991 in Moscow. It analyzes the attitude of the French party to each them.
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Dates et versions

hal-03502088 , version 1 (24-12-2021)

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  • HAL Id : hal-03502088 , version 1

Citer

Dominique Andolfatto. "I felt as if I was faced with a French Honecker" : The French Communist Party Confronted with a World that was Falling Apart (1985-1991). Francesco Di Palma. Perestroïka and the Party. National and Transnational Perspectives on European Communist Parties in the Era of Soviet Reform., Berghahn, pp.202-215, 2019, 978-1-78920-020-1. ⟨hal-03502088⟩
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