French citizenship for "Spiderman" from Mali

A young man from Mali saved a child from falling from the fourth floor of a Paris building with a spectacular climb. President Macron now wants to reward the undocumented immigrant for his brave act by granting him French citizenship. Commentators question whether this gesture would be fair.

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De Morgen (BE) /

Reflection of an erratic asylum policy

Macron's reaction is extremely odd, De Morgen writes:

“A gesture like this is more suited to the Roman Empire than to a European democracy. ... One wonders what lengths a refugee from Mali has to go to to deserve French citizenship. Is an extraordinary act of heroism now the ultimate criterion for gaining citizenship? What would have happened to Gassama if his impressive rescue hadn't been filmed? ... The president's heart-warming gesture can just as well be seen as proof of the erratic and unpredictable policy on asylum and foreigners in many European countries. Political impulsiveness and voter reactions are evidently more important than clear rules, human rights and a stringent policy that also tackles the causes of migration.”

Le Temps (CH) /

Too bad for all the non-heroes!

It's hypocritical of Macron to offer this young man French citizenship, Le Temps believes:

“This is strongly symbolic in a country that only grudgingly takes in refugees. The government's strict policy has often been denounced by the left. ... Last Friday the state dismantled another migrant camp in Calais, in the north of the country. On the social networks people are asking questions. Is the French government being hypocritical in honouring Mamoudou Gassama's act? The philosopher and social commentator Raphaël Enthoven has criticised on Twitter the message being sent out by the authorities: 'If citizenship depends on heroic acts, what will we do with migrants who aren't heroes?'”