Michel Barnier: campaigning with anti-immigration slogans?
Michel Barnier, until recently the EU's chief Brexit negotiator and a former minister in France, has made headlines with a migration policy proposal. He wants to suspend all immigration to France from outside the EU for several years - including family reunions. There are commentators who say the proposal crosses a red line and there are others who say it shows courage.
Losing all moral bearings
Barnier is using the Fortress Europe concept to position himself for the election campaign, columnist Kenan Malik writes in The Guardian:
“Michel Barnier took the inner logic of that immigration policy and pushed it further than most mainstream politicians have so far been willing to go to demonstrate he is best placed to outflank far-right Marine Le Pen in the presidential elections. It is another example of an observation I made last month about Danish immigration policy: when politicians engage in a race to the bottom, they soon find there is no bottom. They just keep on racing down until they lose all moral bearings.”
Barnier dares to speak out
The people have a real fear of terror stemming from migrants and Barnier is saying what they are thinking, Právo explains:
“Europe suffers from two kinds of fear. The second is a 'social' fear. The fear of saying what should not be said. ... Soldiers in France were the first to complain about the situation in an open letter to the president. Surveys showed that 80 percent of the French population shared their views. Shortly afterwards Barnier spoke out, but he wasn't the only one. ... Only once Europe frees itself from its 'social fear' can real fear disappear.”