Sarkozy threatens to withdraw from Schengen accord

 
President Nicolas Sarkozy Thousand gathered at the President's rally in the Paris suburb of Villepinte

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy has threatened to withdraw from Europe's open border zone unless more is done to stop illegal immigration.

Speaking at a Paris campaign rally, the president said that reform was the only way to avoid the "implosion" of Europe.

He said that unless there is progress in the next 12 months, then France would suspend participation in the Schengen agreement.

The accord allows passport-free travel among 23 European nations.

Three other countries are not yet fully-fledged members of the area.

Illegal immigration has been a key issue ahead of the presidential election.

Last week Mr Sarkozy said there were too many foreigners in France - and pledged to halve the number of immigrants arriving if he is re-elected later this year.

The first round of voting is on 22 April. He is lagging in the opinion polls far behind the Socialist candidate, Francois Hollande.

The European Commission is due to submit a report on the operation of the Schengen system in May.

Mr Sarkozy also called for a "Buy European Act" that would require governments to favour European-made products.

He said: "France will ask Europe to adopt a 'Buy European Act' on a model of the 'Buy American Act'.

"That way companies that produce in Europe will benefit from European state money.''

 

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  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 141.

    Sarkozy. like Michael Howard in the UK, is the son of an East European immigrant. Immigrants in France (as in the UK & rest of Europe) helped keep wages down and generated energy fof the boom. Now that the good years are over, they're wanting the immigrants to leave. Fortunately French people are clever enough to see through Sarko's banal rhetoric and will shortly elect a socialist in his place.

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 140.

    To focus on controlling Frances borders from the infiltration of unwanted relentless illegal immigration is an urgent issue and to his credit. France/Europe did not develop an advanced society & Culture by embracing and imposing archaic brutal religious dogma. Indeed Europe blossomed after rejecting archaic dogma of their own shameful Dark Ages which also bound it to backwardness. Wake up Europe

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 124.

    Sarkozy MUST remain faithful to his ambitious and well worded plans... Unfotunately we have had revealed to us that for all his appeal and charm's - we continually see a lack of action that coincides with the ideas he generates when he feels the need.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 113.

    Freedom of movement should be everybodys right. You should be able to live and work wherever one please. Haing said that you should have to provide for yourself (job house etc) and not be allocated any social benefits until you have paid in for at least 3 or more years. If you cant then you return home or move on.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 74.

    We seem to be getting away from the underlying problem of immigration, illegal or otherwise, in Europe - not just specifically France, and concentrating on discussing how good, or bad, Sarkozy might be. It is completely irrelevant who the President of France is! A change of President will not make any difference to the immigration problem.

 

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