"Immigration is out of our hands," said French presidential candidate Michel Barnier.

“Immigration is out of our hands,” said French presidential candidate Michel Barnier.

France has lost control of immigration, and a sense of impunity has reigned in the country, according to French presidential candidate Michel Barnier, the European Union’s former chief Brexit negotiator.

The French politician, who is vying with a fifth for the presidency of the Republican centre-right party in the 2022 elections, lamented in an interview with the British news agency Reuters on Tuesday evening that France “has fallen back hard”. He believed that President Emmanuel Macron’s leadership style was too arrogant and had one goal in mind, thus fomenting divisions.

“Immigration is out of our hands,” said the politician. “We simply learned about it at the time. There is a feeling of impunity and insecurity across the country.”

According to Barnier, a ban on immigration should be imposed until European and French immigration rules – currently uncertain – are in place. Politicians want to patrol some settlements where the police have spiraled out of control and are calling for a referendum to reintroduce compulsory military service.

The moderate center-right politician rejected the assumption that he wanted to win back conservative voters from the radical right camp of Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour.

“I’m dealing with the country’s problems,” he said.

Macron’s government has denied allegations of losing control over the number of foreigners arriving in France. However, according to the official statistical office INSEE, the number of immigrants has been increasing dramatically since the early 2000s.

According to official INSEE figures, 272,000 immigrants arrived in France in 2020, compared to 259,000 in 2016, the last year of Socialist François Hollande’s presidency, and 211,000 in 2010 under the conservative presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy.

See also  Index - offshore - a magnitude 7 earthquake struck the South Shetland Islands

Topping the list of Republicans’ popularity is Xavier Bertrand, president of the Hauts-de-France regional council, and Valérie Pécresse, president of the Ile-de-France regional council, but Reuters said Michel Barnier may also have a chance.

The party’s presidential hopefuls said they would support whoever wins next week’s primaries. The number of registered voters has doubled in recent weeks, approaching 150,000. (MTI, Reuters)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *