“France has never been a country of immigrants”

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Published 6 December 2022 at 18.10

Foreign. French President Emmanuel Macron faces fierce opposition after claiming that France has always been a country of immigrants.

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– France has always been a country of immigration, said Emmanuel Macron in an interview on Sunday.

The French president further claimed that this is part of the French “DNA”: “It is the strength of our country, and we have always needed it for our economy”.

One of those reacting to the play is the French-Algerian writer and former politician Malika Sorel-Sutter. In the TV channel CNews, she states that immigration to France is a modern phenomenon.

– The reasoning that Emmanuel Macron has put forward is completely wrong. A French historian has made it particularly clear that France has never been a country of immigration, she says.

No major immigration to France really took place until around 1870, when Italian and later Polish immigrants came to the country, according to Malika Sorel-Sutter.

– So France has never been a country of immigration. Here and there artists, scientists or cardinals came to France, but this has remained a mostly anecdotal phenomenon, says Sorel-Sutter.

Malika Sorel-Sutter herself has an Algerian immigrant background and is an outspoken critic of immigration. Last month, she said that ethnic French are becoming a minority in their own country and that this could have “serious” consequences, Remix News reports.