Francois Fillon the French Presidential candidate for the conservatives in France has put forward a case for quotas on immigration. In what is likely to be a popular move in the country, he proposes that France has a maximum capacity, and that a quota would be based on that. Aides have been quick to assert that M.Fillon is not looking for France to be removed from the Schengen zone (Europe’s borderless area).
It is likely that the idea has been provoked out of necessity to try and steal some ground from Front national hopeful Marine LePen. LePen is a vocal supporter of removing France from the European Union, and has previously supported Donald Trump and Nigel Farage in their recent successes. It is feared that France could take a significant right turn in the election after several terrorist attacks during the reign of current President Francois Hollande.
Mr Fillon will travel to Nice, the site of one of the worst attrocities against France. On Bastille day in 2016 a Tunisian immigrant Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel had taken a truck and ploughed it in to a busy crowd. He killed 86 people who had gathered to watch fireworks in the town.
Fillon has taken a hardline against immigration and is trying to provide measures for cutting benefits to immigrants. Many political commentators are increasingly worried that LePen could very much be the dark horse of the election. With large recent elections going very much against the grain, it isn’t a stretch for most to imagine a very right wing movement gaining traction in France.
Mr Fillon is on the campaign trail as he seeks to take the Presidency in France. As part of his tour he is to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is also on an election footing. Mr Fillon is expected to press for reforms to the Schengen agreement, these include temporary suspension of states that are unable to control their borders. He will desperately need to show strong leadership against immigration. Current President Francois Hollande is one of France’s least popular Presidents ever, and is seen as soft on immigration. Whoever his successor is, it is likely that their path to success will be built on the restriction of immigration to the country. This path also allows the Front National its best ever chance of taking the Presidency.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.