Far-Right Leader: Riots Only the Start

John Leicester, AP, Nov. 9

French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen claimed Wednesday his National Front party has been “submerged” with prospective members and supportive e-mail since rioting erupted in heavily immigrant communities near Paris.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Le Pen described the recent violence as “just the start” of conflicts caused by “massive immigration from countries of the Third World that is threatening not just France but the whole continent.”

Le Pen said people with immigrant backgrounds who commit crimes should be stripped of their French nationality and sent “back to their country of origin.”

Reminded that the vast majority of youths taking part in the arson and rioting are French, born in France to immigrant parents, he said: “What does that mean? Are they French because they have a French identity card?”

French nationality should be given only to those who ask for it and “who are worthy of it,” he said. “Those who got nationality automatically, who don’t consider themselves French and who even say publicly that they consider France their enemy should not be treated as French.”

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“We are receiving thousands of new members, tens of thousands of e-mails. All of our offices are submerged, we don’t know how to respond because we don’t have the staff to reply to the wave of people who, 95 percent of them, salute and approve our positions,” he added.

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