A radical shake-up of immigration rules in France has been presented by Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy. Critics claim the plans amount to xenophobia.
The new rules would encourage economic migrants with specific skills, and cut the number of people coming to the country for family reasons:
“We turn away people for whom we have work available, and we accept some unfortunate people for whom we have neither a home nor a job, and who end up in squats that in August in the French capital catch fire. That’s the reality, and that reality isn’t glorious for anyone,” Sarkozy says.
Her added: “The French people refuse to be the prisoners of two extremes: zero immigration on one side and total immigration on the other.”
Sarkozy has been accused of courting the far-right vote.
Immigration, and integration, are hot topics in France after youth riots last year fuelled by racism, resentement, and unemployment.