France: Macron 'assumes' immigration law, a 'shield we lacked'

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday that he "assumed" the adoption of a tough law on immigration, which has provoked an open crisis in his majority, denying that it was inspired by the far right and assuring that the French were "waiting" for this text.

Emmanuel Macron on the set of the show "C à vous" which took place especially for the occasion at the Élysée Palace on December 20, 2023. AFP - LUDOVIC MARIN

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The law, the 30th in four decades in France, is "a shield that we lacked," said President Macron, invited on France 5 the day after the adoption of the text supported by the right and the far right, and which fractured his majority, causing the resignation of Health Minister Aurélien Rousseau.


I respect " his decision, said the head of state, before insisting on the "responsibility" of governing. "We are bound by these responsibilities. We have to take responsibility for what was done yesterday, we also have to calm people's minds," he said. "Our compatriots have been waiting for this law," the president said, adding that it was "very clearly" aimed at discouraging illegal immigrants. There is an "immigration problem" in France, but "we are not overwhelmed by immigration," he said.

He then defended a "useful" text that allows for "better integration through work" and will allow the "regularization of 7,000 to 10,000people".

« The text as a whole does not betray our values »

However, Emmanuel Macron admitted that he did not "like" some of the provisions of the law, which will be submitted to the Constitutional Council, citing in particular the deposit that will now be required of foreign students, and which has provoked an outcry from several grandes écoles.

The president has vigorously rejected the idea that the law's provisions are far-right inspired. During months of legislative drama, the text has been considerably toughened by the right and the far right. Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Rally party, whose party decided at the last moment to vote for the text, hailed an "ideological victory" and measures enshrining the "national priority", a pillar of her ideology.

Read alsoFrance: what is contained in the draft immigration law adopted by Parliament

The text considerably restricts the payment of social benefits, provides for the introduction of migratory quotas, calls into question the automaticity of the right of the soil, restores the "offence of illegal residence"... "The whole text does not betray our values," said the French president, who was re-elected in 2022 ahead of Marine Le Pen on a promise to block the far right. However, to prevent the RN from coming to power, "we have to deal with the problems that feed it," he argued.


With AFP)

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  • France
  • French Politics
  • Emmanuel Macron
  • Immigration