President Nikolas Sarkozy is campaigning for re-election and he has been driven to speak the truth that many French know: France has too many immigrants and they refuse to assimilate to French culture.
Below, colorful Muslims survey newly diversified Paris.
I’m trying to imagine an American candidate speaking with similar honesty about foreigners in this country, and it doesn’t compute.
But Europe is curiously ahead of us in recognizing that multiculturalism is crap, as national leaders Sarkozy, Germany’s Merkel and Britain’s Cameron have all admitted.
Of course, the presence of millions of Muslims makes that realization easy, particularly when some unfriendlies are blowing stuff up in the name of jihad.
Nicolas Sarkozy says France has too many foreigners, BBC, March 6, 2012
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said there are too many foreigners in France and the system for integrating them is “working more and more badly”.
In a TV debate, Mr Sarkozy defended his plan to cut the number of new arrivals in half if he is re-elected next month.
Mr Sarkozy is trailing in the opinion polls behind the Socialist candidate Francois Hollande.
He is also competing for conservative voters with the far-right National Front party led by Marine le Pen.
The president said while immigration could be a boon for France, it needed to be controlled more tightly through tougher qualification rules for residency.
Mr Sarkozy, whose father was a Hungarian immigrant, also said he wanted to restrict some benefit payments to immigrants who had been in the country for 10 years.
Tough new rules
He has often made controversial comments on race and immigration issues, sharply dividing opinion in France.
In 2005, just before the Paris riots, he described young delinquents in the Paris suburbs as “racaille”, meaning rabble.
As president, he has already pushed through tough new immigration rules, including the controversial deportation of Roma gypsies.
On Tuesday, his prime minister Francois Fillon caused dismay among Muslim and Jewish groups by suggesting the religious slaughter of animals was out of date.
The controversy started when a TV documentary said last month that all the abattoirs in Paris region only produced halal meat.
So far the election campaign seems to have made relatively little impact on voters.
The latest opinion poll published on Tuesday by CSA showed the Socialist leader Francois Hollande widening his lead over President Sarkozy.
It also suggested that the Socialist leader would win decisively by 54% to 46% in a second round of voting on 6 May.