French right-wing presidential hopeful Valerie Pecresse on Saturday slammed the EU’s “sieve-like” borders for permitting migrants to enter undetected and backed requires barbed-wire fences to stop them crossing illegally into the bloc.
Pecresse, whom polls present as President Emmanuel Macron’s prime challenger within the April 2022 election, rammed dwelling her place throughout a go to to a migrant camp on the Greek island of Samos.
“We can not have a sieve-like Europe, a grocery store Europe the place you enter and go away as you please,” the conservative politician, who types herself as a cross between Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel, stated.
The Samos camp is one in every of three new migrant amenities on Greece’s Aegean islands, which acted as a gateway to the EU for over a million asylum seekers in 2015. Most had been Syrian, Iraqi or Afghan, arriving by boat from Turkey.
The brand new camps include barbed-wire fencing, surveillance cameras, X-ray scanners and magnetic gates which can be closed at night time.
Constructed with EU funds, they provide a larger degree of consolation, together with operating water, bogs and extra safety, than the dingy tented camps they changed.
NGOs and assist teams have nonetheless voiced concern concerning the confinement of migrants within the camps.
Throughout Pecresse’s go to, a dozen Somali migrants protested over being caught in what they known as “a detention camp”.
However the 54-year-old head of the Higher Paris area was stuffed with reward for the power, calling it a “mannequin” for Europe that blended “firmness” and “humanity” and helped cut back the stream of migrants throughout the Mediterranean.
She accused the centrist Macron, who’s at present tipped to win a second time period, of sweeping the problem of migration “beneath the carpet”.
“A wall just isn’t the answer, however it may be the reply,” she declared, calling for the EU to fund the development of barbed-wire border fences in international locations with exterior EU borders.
Polls present immigration as one in every of French voters’ prime considerations.
Pecresse has been accused of chasing far-right votes by taking a troublesome line on immigration and crime, points which she claims are linked.