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'They say we should be prepared to take in the whole world. I disagree'

Hot Topic Learn more about French presidential election 2017

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Ahead of the presidential election, euronews has partnered up with regional website Rue89Lyon and Google to bring you a series of reports on the French people’s mood ahead of the vote.

We are in Salles-Arbuissonnas, a small town in the heart of the Beaujolais, to meet Alain Peulet, 71. A former merchant navy officer, he travelled the seas until he retired in 2000. He settled down with his partner in the small Beaujolais town of Salles-Arbuissonnas.

According to him, all is not well in France.

“What I see is a country that’s disappearing – our traditions etc… a lot of things are disappearing. Is globalisation to blame? Or Europe? I couldn’t say. Maybe the two are linked…,” he tells our reporter, Bertrand Enjalbal, from Rue89Lyon.

“Let’s take the example of the neighbouring town of Villefranche-sur-Saône, or even Belleville or Mâcon: the town centres are empty, shops are closing, everything’s up for sale. But on the outskirts of town, in Villefranche in particular, where there used to be fields, vegetable and fruit farmers, it’s all been replaced by warehouses, industrial estates, commercial zones, they’re growing like mushrooms.

“We’ve already got problems with unemployment, there aren’t enough jobs. And on top of that, we’re taking in more people! It doesn’t make sense! Is it mean of me to say that, not to want to welcome these people? They say we should be prepared to take in the whole world? Well I don’t agree,” says Alain Peulet.

Bertrand Enjalbal, Rue89Lyon: “Do you really think we’ve taken in that many immigrants from Syria compared to other European countries or to Turkey?”

Alain Peulet: “Those we see here now are not Syrians. I don’t know where the Syrians are! I don’t know! I see mostly people from Sub-Saharan Africa and northern Africa. In our villages, we see a lot of Africans, more and more! And they come from countries that are not at war.”

Bertrand Enjalbal: “Maybe they are simply French?”

Alain Peulet: “No, they are not, no, no, they aren’t! I don’t think they should be here.”

Bertrand Enjalbal: “If you were facing the president right now, what would you say to him or to her, what is the first thing they should do?”

Alain Peulet: “The first thing is to surround with the right people, to avoid nepotism, to surround themselves with competent people, to take the bull by the horns, and – even if it’s painful- to take radical measures. Order needs to be completely restored. I’m not talking about revolution. Anyway, I don’t think the French people are much into revolution. Right now, political leaders have nothing to worry about. Can you imagine the French people rebelling?”

Bertrand Enjalbal: “You never know…”

This report was producer by Olivier Péguy, euronews, in association with Bertrand Enjalbal from Rue89Lyon. The editor was Emma Belay.
Euronews is powered by Google News Lab.

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