Keyword: refugees

The myth of France as 'the land of asylum'


While massive numbers of refugees continue to arrive in Europe, there is a perception among many in France that the country is something of a ‘promised land’ for asylum seekers, a dream destination about to be overwhelmed by the influx. But in reality, the self-proclaimed “land of human rights” figures way down the wish-list of those currently seeking to settle in Europe, even among francophone refugees. In this analysis of the crisis, which on Sunday saw Germany closing its southern borders, Mediapart's specialist writer on migratory issues, Carine Fouteau, examines why the majority of refugees are now spurning France.

French interior minister pledges cash to mayors offering homes to refugees

Bernard Cazeneuve said municipalities will get 1,000 euros for every new home offered to refugees, expected to number 30,000 over two years.

France suspends honorary consul in Turkey who sold rafts to migrants

The woman consul and shopkeeper in Turkey's coastal resort city of Bodrum, on the Argean Sea, admitted selling inflatable dinghies to migrants.

Storm over French ex-minister's quip 'Germany took our Jews, gave us Arabs'

Patrick Devedjian made the comment at a press conference, referring to the largely syrian and iraqi refugees arriving in France from Germany.

Tensions mount as French mayors prepare reception of refugees


In face of the massive arrivals of refugees in Europe, and notably the huge recent influx into Germany, France has agreed to accept an extra 24,000 asylum seekers over the next two years. The initial organisation of accommodating the refugees is to be mapped out at a meeting this weekend between the interior minister and French mayors who have volunteered to provide assistance. But, as Feriel Alouti and Michaël Hajdenberg report, the crisis highlights the already thoroughly inadequate previsions for asylum seekers, while tensions, fuelled by some mayors opposed to the scheme, are already brewing among some local populations.

Eric Cantona calls on French to take in refugee families

The former football star criticised lack of support for refugees who he said he would welcome in his home, urging others to do so too.

First refugees arrive in France after pledge to welcome 24,000

The families were the first of up to 1,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq expected to be given asylum in France this week.

France begins receiving Syrian refugees amid 'Christians only' call from mayor

As France opens its doors to migrants, the conservative mayor of Roanne in central France, said his town would only accept Christian refugees.

France to offer asylum to 24,000 refugees

Speaking at a press conference in Paris, President François Hollande said his country had a duty to take in those fleeing war and persecution.

From Calais to Italy: how France has become Europe's new border guard


In return for help in making the Channel Tunnel and the port at Calais more “secure”, France has agreed to monitor Britain's borders on its behalf. On the Italian frontier, meanwhile, French police are searching for migrants who have crossed the Mediterranean. As Carine Fouteau reports, interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve has taken on the mantle of Europe's new gatekeeper, at the risk of breaching European law.

EU wants France to take in 9,000 asylum seekers

Number is France's proposed 'share' of 40,000 asylum-seekers already in Italy and Greece plus 20,000 refugees currently outside Europe.

Iraqi Christians reach France after fleeing Islamists

The group of about 40 arrived from Iraqi Kurdistan ahead of a further several hundred Christian refugees expected over the coming weeks.

Iraqi Christians begin arriving in France

The family of 11 are relatives of murdered Archbishop Faraj Raho, leader of the Chaldean Catholic church in northern Iraq.

Syrian migrants 'ready to die' to reach British shores

Dozens of Syrian refugees in France, who have blocked an entry ramp to English Channel ferries in Calais, say they are determined to get to UK.

The Vichy deportation camp that is a 'permanent stain' on France


A senior figure in the Socialist Party has angrily criticised French culture minister Aurélie Filippetti for allegedly snubbing Rivesaltes, a former internment and deportation camp in southern France which is set to become a memorial in 2015, during a recent trip to the area. The culture minister has dismissed the claims as 'absurd'. To understand the importance of the memorial site behind this political squabble, Mediapart asked historian Denis Peschanski to describe the political and historical issues at stake in a camp that revives some of the worst memories of the Second World War in France. Antoine Perraud reports.