The leader of Belgium’s biggest political party has called for the closure of the European Unions’s external borders and greater efforts to achieve controlled migration, warning that “unbridled immigration” does not work.
Bart De Wever, the leader of the centre-right Flemish nationalist party, New Flemish Alliance, said that an answer to the problem of “unbridled immigration” was crucial to address the concerns of many disgruntled Europeans whose concerns lead to the victory of parties like the National Front in France.
Flanders News reports Mr. De Wever was being interviewed on Flemish television when he made the comments. He claimed not to be at all surprised by the stunning success of Marine Le Pen’s anti-mass migration party in the recent French regional elections.
In fact, he said, the National Front is just responding to social economic unhappiness, concerns about terrorism and security, and general discontentment with the future of Europe’s way of life.
Although Mr. De Wever was once photographed alongside Ms. Le Pen’s father — the extremist Jean-Marie Le Pen who was expelled by his daughter from the National Front party he founded — he does not consider her party’s solutions to be appealing:
“The solutions that parties like [National Front] propose are not realistic and cannot be implemented, but as long as other parties do not propose alternatives they will experience difficulty.”
The alternative Mr. De Wever favours is a re-enforced EU adopting different immigration policies, something for which he believes there is support in Britain and Germany. For example, he expressed his unhappiness with the border-free Schengen zone saying:
“We must close Schengen. We can’t just let people walk through. We should organise care on our external borders and determine who can come in and who can’t.
“Migration is a positive phenomenon, but needs to be controlled. Unbridled immigration does not work.
“I notice that minds are ripening in Europe very quickly. The British Prime Minister and I are in total agreement. I am hearing similar noises emanating from Chancellor Merkel’s CDU.”