French President Francois Hollande confirmed yesterday that despite the Jihadi attacks on Paris last week his country will still receive 30,000 migrants over the next two years, “showing solidarity towards these refugees and towards Europe.”
President Hollande was addressing a meeting of French mayors when he confirmed the 30,000 figure that had first been announced in September by Prime Minister Manuel Valls, reports EUobserver.
Back when the number was first announced it was interpreted as reluctance on the part of the French government to participate fully in solving the European migrant crisis. Prime Minister Valls said at the time:
“France will not take more than 30,000 asylum seekers. We have to show solidarity, generosity, humanity… but at the same time, we have to master the flow.
“We cannot welcome to Europe all those who flee dictatorship in Syria.”
In light of the recent Jihadi attacks the acceptance of 30,000 migrants is viewed as a magnanimous political gesture. President Hollande told the mayors:
“Some want to establish a link between the influx of refugees coming from the Middle-East and the terrorist threat.
“The truth is that this link exists, because inhabitants of areas in Iraq and Syria are fleeing because they are being murdered by those who are attacking us today.”
No doubt aware of how the French electorate might react to such a declaration, he did attempt to address some concerns. Saying the “duty of humanity towards the refugees goes hand in hand with the duty to protect the French people” he added that France will continue to “do the necessary checking before accepting refugees.”
Earlier this week Marine Le Pen, the leader of the increasingly popular anti-mass migration Front National party, called on France to “immediately stop receiving migrants” and “scatter” those already present.