French minister of Diversity and Equal Opportunities Yazid Sabeg has reopened debate on whether France should officially collect ethnic-origin statistics. Should Nicholas Sarkozy agree with Sabeg’s initiative, debate in the Republic is assured among both the Right and the Left.
Many opponents have argued that such statistics create divisions among the population and highlight difference. Sabeg explained that the questionnaire “would ask individuals how they define themselves, how they feel. It’s not about creating files [on different ethnic groups] but to measure discriminatory factors that aren’t socially-based.”