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Christian Chesnot: Qatar, “a small influential nation that performs on all fronts” – rts.ch

Christian Chesnot: Qatar, “a small influential nation that performs on all fronts” – rts.ch

The kick-off of the 2023 World Cup can be given on November 20 in Qatar, whereas the occasion now appears mired in controversy. Writer of a ebook on this small emirate, Christian Chesnot evokes “its monetary energy which makes it attainable to purchase many issues and generally consciences”.

Ought to the Soccer World Cup be granted to Qatar, a rustic with out soccer tradition, extraordinarily rich however abandoned, which has spent 200 billion francs to construct luxurious stadiums and gigantic accommodations by exploiting tens of hundreds of employees from the underworld? Indian continent, Asia or Africa?

Journalist at Radio France, Christian Chesnot has simply revealed “Qatar in 100 questions”, revealed by Tallandier. Visitor Monday of this system Tout un monde of the RTS, he first attracts up a short historical past of the meteoric emergence of this tiny state on the worldwide scene because the starting of the century.

“There was a visionary man, Sheikh Hamad, who took energy in 1995 and used gasoline as monetary leverage, however above all affect to construct Qatar, to make it exist,” he remembers. .

Its modus operandi is that all the things could be purchased should you pay the value.

Christian Chenot

“That is what we’ll name ‘comfortable energy’. He’ll put money into many areas, air journey with Qatar Airways, media with Al Jazeera and sport, which is the common faith. Qataris rapidly understood that it was a promising sector during which we might give a great picture”, continues Christian Chesnot.

The highly effective monetary leverage of the sovereign wealth fund

And the sovereign wealth fund endowed with 450 billion {dollars} is the monetary lever that enables Qatar to shine. “His modus operandi is that all the things could be purchased on the situation of paying the value”, underlines this specialist within the Center East.

“Qatar shares enterprise with main allied international locations resembling the US, France, England and Germany,” he stated. “From there, he’ll diversify his investments, together with in Switzerland with lodge purchases. In France, Qatar weighs 25 billion {dollars} in investments, in Germany 25 billion and in Nice Britain, 45 billion” . And the conflict in Ukraine, with the explosion within the worth of gasoline, solely additional will increase the nation’s wealth.

People pose in front of the signage for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar on October 20 in Doha. [Noushad Thekkayil - EPA/Keystone]Individuals pose in entrance of the signage for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar on October 20 in Doha. [Noushad Thekkayil – EPA/Keystone]

However essentially the most seen a part of Qatar’s affect is the Al Jazeera tv channel, which has put the nation on the worldwide stage.

“It was Sheikh Hamad’s concept to make Qatar exist within the midst of giants resembling Saudi Arabia and Iran”, explains Christian Chesnot. “And he succeeded completely (…) Fifteen years in the past, no one knew Doha. With the World Cup, Qatar turns into the middle of the planet. With 300,000 Qatari residents, a rustic as massive as Corsica, this State obtains a planetary affect and performs the primary roles”, he analyzes.

Qatar has additionally succeeded in establishing itself as a mediator in main worldwide crises. As a result of “he speaks to everybody and particularly to people who Westerners don’t like: the Palestinian Hamas, the Taliban, the unconventional actions in Syria”.

There’s the ideological proximity with Hamas and temptations to need to finance Islam in Europe.

Christian Chesnot. [Bruno Coutier - AFP]

Christian Chenot

However there may be additionally the emirate’s help for the Muslim Brotherhood motion and its supposed financing of terrorism: “There’s what I name in my ebook ‘the grey zone’ (…) with acquaintances, alliances not very appetizing, with extremist teams, jihadists, in Libya, Mali or Syria”, explains the French journalist. “There’s ideological proximity to Hamas and in addition temptations to need to finance Islam in Europe”.

In a earlier ebook, “Qatar papers”, Christian Chesnot had revealed together with his colleague that in Switzerland, France or Germany, Qatar had financed many issues, particularly mosques and Islamic associations.

A hidden agenda on the spiritual entrance?

“And we surprise what Qatar’s agenda is,” he stated. “Shopping for up soccer golf equipment, massive accommodations, investing within the economic system, okay. However whenever you begin to contact the DNA of nations, to intervene in spiritual affairs, you say to your self that there could also be – be a hazard. And that is why with Qatar you generally need to be a bit of vigilant. Its monetary energy permits you to purchase loads of issues and generally consciences”.

Democratization is underway but it surely doesn’t essentially have the identical which means as within the West.

Christian Chesnot. [Bruno Coutier - AFP]

Christian Chenot

The towers of Doha are adorned with images of footballers, on the eve of the kick-off of the World Cup in Qatar. [Noushad Thekkayl - EPA/Keystone]The towers of Doha are adorned with photos of footballers, on the eve of the kick-off of the World Cup in Qatar. [Noushad Thekkayl – EPA/Keystone]However can the Soccer World Cup serve the democratization of the nation? “Qatar is a small society, it is a massive Swiss metropolis”, remembers this good connoisseur of the area.

“It is a Bedouin society with an emir, people who find themselves pampered as a result of they’ve one of many best buying powers on the earth, one of many best GDP per capita. Democratization is on the best way (…) , but it surely’s lengthy and it would not essentially have the identical which means as within the West. It is not going to vary in a single day.”

>> Learn additionally: Substandard housing and poverty wages, within the hell of small fingers in Qatar

Interview by Patrick Chaboudez/oang

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