Despite calls not to politicize the incident, France's right and far right took advantage of Thursday's attack by a Syrian refugee in Annecy to denounce the "savagery tendency" resulting from "mass migration".

The knife attack on young children in a park shocked France, but it did not prevent him from being politically employed, and the minute of silence in the National Assembly immediately after the tragedy did not have the desired effect.

Six people, including 6 children, were injured in the attack, two of whom remain in a "vital emergency".

French President Emmanuel Macron flew to Annecy, while Prime Minister Elizabeth Born called on everyone to "be responsible in these circumstances".

Government spokesman Olivier Véran also warned against a "game of harmful explanations and justifications" and called on Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire to "leave politics aside for a while".

A cry in a valley

Immigration is a highly sensitive and divisive topic in France, where the far-right has seized the opportunity given its years-long progress to close to power.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen on Friday mocked officials' comments, saying: "Is there a higher authority that needs permission to talk about problems?"

"I feel compelled to give answers, and I think the French are waiting for us to give answers," she said on Europe 1 radio.

As soon as news of the attack broke on Thursday, many right-wing and far-right leaders denounced the "mass exodus", some speaking of "radical Islamism" and "terrorism", before the attacker turned out to be a Christian and prosecutors declared that he acted "without a clear terrorist motive".

The head of the National Rally party, Jordan Bardella, said via Twitter that "our entire immigration policy and a number of European rules must be reconsidered."

Party vice-chairman David Rachlin said: "Mass migration is directly related to the savagery that our country is experiencing."

French President Emmanuel Macron flew after the incident to Annecy (Reuters)

Immigration Project

The attack was also an opportunity for the traditional right, which is trying to impose its proposals in the new immigration project that the presidential majority is seeking to formulate.

Olivier Marlex, head of the Les Républicains bloc, said that "uncontrolled mass migration kills."

Party leader Eric Ciotti said on Thursday that "we must draw all the lessons without naivety, firmly and clearly."

On Friday, Syotti also criticised what he called "disastrous asylum management in Europe" and called for "no longer being subject to the rules imposed on us".

Statements made the day after a European meeting on migration point to agreement on mandatory solidarity among member states in the distribution of asylum seekers.

Growing relevance

Like many EU countries, the issue of migration has gained increasing importance in public debate in France, a trend that is escalating due to the arrival of large numbers of irregular migrants in Europe.

According to an Ifop poll published by Le Journal d'Édimonche at the end of May, 69% of French people support amending the constitution to allow non-compliance with European rules in order to limit immigration.

The far right accuses the radical left of being a supporter of mass immigration.

Algerian writer Kamal Daoud lamented on Friday the "lack of distinction" between migration and crime in the public debate, adding: "We can limit it to political and identity-related readings, but the human tragedy is much more complex," AFP reported.