Already high tensions between Paris and Rome have further escalated after Italian deputy prime minister Luigi Di Maio, leader of the anti-establishment Five-Star Movement, said the EU should 'sanction France and all countries like France that impoverish Africa and make these people leave, because Africans should be in Africa'.
The migrant issue has become a decisive test for all those on the Left who campaign for the emancipation of the people and equal rights for all. Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel argues that far from protecting existing rights, any concession to the politics of rejection, to the favouring of one nationality over others or to policies based on borders and identity, will simply help the cause of the extreme right.
Italian journalist, author and essayist Roberto Saviano is best known outside of his country for his 2006 book Gomorrah, a detailed investigation exposing the activities of the Neapolitan mafia. It earned him worldwide acclaim, both for his journalism and his considerable courage, while the Camorra crime syndicate placed a price on his head. He has lived under permanent police protection ever since. But Saviano, 38, has also become a thorn in the side of Italy’s far-right interior minister (and deputy prime minister), Matteo Salvini, whose xenophobic, anti-migrant policies he regularly denounces – which alarmingly prompted Salvini to threaten to remove Saviano’s police protection. In this interview with Mediapart, Saviano details his appraisal of the Italian political scene and of Salvini, and slams European Union policies on immigration which he says has fuelled the rise to power of extremists.
After France's ambassador to Washington, Gérard Araud, wrote a letter of protest to US-based TV comedian Trevor Noah over his claim that because of the black players in France's football team 'Africa won the World Cup', Noah, a black South African, has publicly replied 'I am not saying it as a way to exclude them from their Frenchness, but using it as a way to include them in my Africanness'.
One MP from ruling LREM, Jean-Michel Clément, rebelled and announced he was quitting the president's party after voting against the reform.
The French government’s proposed legislation to reform immigration and asylum laws has begun its passage through parliament this week, to fierce attacks from opposition MPs of both the Left and the Right. The conservatives, whose policies under their new leader have veered towards the hard-right, claim the bill is little more than soft tinkering of current laws, while the Left denounce an unjustified clampdown on migrants’ rights, a view shared by some among President Macron’s ruling LREM party. Mathilde Mathieu was in parliament to witness the early exchanges of what promises to be a week of inflamed debate.
A bill of law on asylum and immigration placed before French parliament's lower house, the National Assembly, by President Emmanuel Macron's government, which includes allowing the children of failed asylum seekers to be detained before being expelled and for people to be prosecuted for helping illegal immigrants enter or stay in France, has prompted the first rebellion among MPs from his his ruling LREM party.
French presidency says that 'ways to improve the handling of migrants on the common border in Calais' will be discussed at the bilateral in UK.
Front National party leader Marine Le Pen, who opinion polls place second in voting intentions for the first-round this Sunday, has said that if elected she would introduce 'a moratorium on all legal immigration to stop this frenzy, this uncontrolled situation that is dragging us down'.
The issue of immigration control sits high on the agenda of campaigning by candidates in France’s presidential elections to be held this spring, a subject that is increasingly manipulated for political gain. The latest annual immigration statistics released this week by the French interior ministry sober a sometimes hysterical debate. They show that a total of 227,500 non-EU foreign nationals were granted residence in France in 2016, a year-on-year increase of 4.6%, while the number of migrants refused entry at border crossings rose by 302% compared to 2015. Just more than 25,000 people were last year granted refugee status. Carine Fouteau reports.
A damning report commissioned by an independent evaluation body has found that schools in France exacerbate rather than reduce inequalities in society. The report, compiled from the work of more than 30 experts from different disciplines, says that the French education system has been failing many pupils for decades. In particular it singles out the failure of what are called education priority areas, a policy pursued by politicians of both the Left and Right. These special zones have been stigmatised and turned into educational ghettoes, says the report, shunned by better-off families and used mostly by children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Faïza Zerouala reports.
The usually tranquil village of Allex, in the Drôme Valley region of south-east France, has become agitated over the imminent opening of a reception centre for migrants. Villagers’ opposition to the centre, which will house about 50 individuals, has prompted the mayor to announce a referendum on the issue. Laurent Geslin reports from this small village of 2,500 inhabitants where, as France’s 2017 presidential election campaign draws closer, local conservative and far-right parties have jumped upon the opportunity to stoke the fires of prejudice and resentment.
Les autorités françaises bloquent un convoi d'aide anglais destiné à la «jungle» de Calais.
The numbers of people leaving France to live abroad has risen dramatically over the past eight years in comparison to the numbers of those taking up residence in the country, according to a study published this week by the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. The institute also found that immigration now accounts for a relatively small proportion of the growth in the French population. Michel de Pracontal reports.