Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sarkozy brings up immigration

French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said yesterday in a speech to a Catholic organization in Paris that,
"I would like foreigners who come to France to make a commitment to learn French before they get a 10-year visa and this commitment should extend to their wives as well. There are too many (ethnic) communities in France where a foreigner arrives here, learns French, gets a visa, brings his family over under the reunification rules, keeps his wife shut inside and she doesn't learn French. There are a number of women who want to get divorced or separate from their husbands but can't do it because they think: "As the head of the family, my husband is the one who has the visa. If I don't have a visa, I won't be able to stay in France."
Coming on the same day that Socialist candidate Segolene Royal siad that integrating immigrants was crucial because they were the future of France, this adds a new twist to an old theme. Sarkozy is still proving to be "tough" in his stance towards foreigners, which he hopes will give him the votes of the French angry and concernced about the growing Muslim/immigrant population. What is really fascinating about this latest move is that Sarkozy's reasoning is based on protecting wives from their husbands. The topic of domestic abuse has been a highlight of Segolene Royal's campaign, and she has even vowed that her first law in office will aimed at fighting it. Sarkozy might have figured that he has already lost the entire minority vote, but he can still pick up a few Royal supporters concerned about this issue.

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2 comments:

Julie said...

Hello,

I am Julie, french and living in Paris. Just a comment to tell you I really love your blog, and I really think it is interesting to know how foreigners think we are involved in politics.

By the way, I think now, Nicolas Sarkozy warms the Ségo speech up (sorry for my english...). And I think that Ségo Royal will win just because she is a woman and she personifies the "breaking", the phrase beloved of Sarkozy...

Boz said...

Thanks for the compliment Julie. Feel free to comment, as it's hard to really grasp the full nature of the election without living in France. Don't apologize for your English though, my French is that of a 4 year-old ; )