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By Philippe Legrain 1 COMMENT

French president Nicolas Sarkozy is planning a Europe-wide crackdown on immigration when France takes over the reins of the EU in the second half of this year, according to documents seen by the FT.

Not content with mismanaging France, it seems, Sarko is now determined to sow discord throughout Europe.

Coming from the son of a Hungarian immigrant, such claptrap is particularly disappointing and hypocritical. Young Sarkozy may always have thought that he was destined for greatness, but the French authorities who admitted his parents could not have known. Had Sarkozy’s parents been turned away, President Bling Bling would not be in office and, dare I say it, Carla would not be the jewel in his crown.

The cruel irony of Sarko’s proposals is that far from protecting Europe from the perceived threat of immigration, they would do further damage to Europe’s stuttering economies and ageing societies.

Does Sarko honestly think that his anti-immigrant rhetoric is conducive to attracting the high-skilled migrants that the EU is wooing with its new "blue card" proposal?

Is it really in Europe’s interests to try to round up illegal workers, at a time when a greying continent is struggling to find people to look after the growing number of elderly Europeans who need care?

Does anyone think that such a crackdown will succeed?

Is it not a recipe for fracturing society rather than protecting it?

Posted 30 May 2008 in Blog, Europe, France, Immigration
  1. C A says:

    Generally speaking, it feels that there is more of an extreme right sentiment in France compared to the likes of Britain for example (despite all the race-related stories we hear about in the British media). I think it is true that Jean-Marie Le Pen won a remarkably high percentage of votes in the French natonal elections in recent years before Le Front National split up?.
    So I question whether M. Sarzoky is doing something truly radical or really just trying to expand his power base by appealing to the latent desire in people to find so-called easy answers to complex problems. If this action is designed to respond to such a basic instinct of people outside France in order to conquer Europe, then he will not be the first small man to try it out.

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