The French Prime Minister has admitted that he would consider looking at introducing immigration quotas for the country, as the number of people seeking asylum in the country continues to grow.
In his opening remarks to the National Assembly yesterday, PM Edouard Philippe said: “Today, the French asylum system is saturated. The question of being steered by targets and admissions for residency is not a taboo. I’m not afraid of thinking about the idea of immigration quotas.”
Figures show that France recorded a 22 per cent increase in asylum applications last year. Meanwhile, the rest of Europe recorded a culminative 10 per cent drop.
In 2017, more than 100,000 people had requested asylum in the country, although it was unclear how many were eventually accepted.
Philippe’s remarks come just a couple of weeks after president Emmanuel Macron also announced a tougher stance on immigration in France, and hinted at immigration quotas.
“France cannot host everyone if it wants to host people well,” the President told French radio last month. “There is not enough cooperation in Europe and we need to look at this migratory phenomenon and take decisions.”
The President also said he wanted to look at the state medical aid offered to migrants while emphasising that getting rid of such help entirely would be “ridiculous”.
“It would be an error to say that the question of migration is a taboo or just something to raise when there are crises,” he said, emphasising that France had always been a country of migration.
Macron’s comments came as something of a surprise. During his election campaign in 2017, the President had strongly supported the open-door policy of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in allowing in over a million refugees, saying it had “saved our collective dignity”.
Article published 8th October 2019