RT, August 30, 2018
French President Emmanuel Macron is hypocritical to claim he supports migration while being unwilling to open the door to more migrants, says professor Jean Bricmont, adding that the issue could be used, by the right, against him.
Macron billed himself as a main opponent to the hardline anti-migrant politicians currently holding power in Italy and Hungary. That is after Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban united to fight existing EU migration policies and vowed to take power into their own hands in the next elections for the European Parliament.
During a joint press conference in Milan, Salvini and Orban pledged to take a hardline stance on the immigration issues and to oppose Macron, whom Hungary’s PM described as “the leader of pro-migration parties in Europe.”
RT asked Jean Bricmont, a professor, writer and political commentator, whether Macron will get support for his opposition to Orban and Salvini, since only days ago the French president was talking about the vital need for EU unity.
Bricmont believes that “the problem with Macron is that he is very hypocritical, as Salvini points out.” He explained that Salvini is willing to send many migrants to France but France doesn’t want to take them.
“Italy and Hungary are a little bit different – Hungary has never been a colonial power. They are not responsible for the wars in the Middle East… Why should they accept migrants? … Maybe you can say by charity. But they can say ‘We have got a lot of problems to solve first’,” Bricmont continued.
The situation with Italy is a little bit different, he noted, but Italy has taken many migrants and said “it is enough and other countries should take them. But they don’t.”
Furthermore, he suggests that the problem is largely psychological.
“Because people are worried that if you let migrants in, then they will come in the millions, tens of millions and we’ll be overwhelmed,” he said.
According to Bricmont, as there are already tensions with the descendants of immigrants in Europe, people don’t want more migrants “even if it is not that many.”
“And then they are worried about their numbers. Nobody says ‘We will take 500,000 and that is it, after that we will close the border.’ Nobody is saying this and of course people think there will be millions.”
Asked about Salvini’s and Orban’s potential to redraw the map of the European parliament in the next elections, Bricmont said that he expects a large bloc of anti-migrant deputies to be elected.
“In France, the right, not the far right, but the right and the Republicans are already taking the opportunity of having a violent anti-migrant discourse. Which is a bit ridiculous because France does not take that many migrants, it is Italy who takes them but not France. At least, not recently,” he pointed out.
He suggested that the right in France would jump on that migrant issue while making an alliance with the National Rally (formerly National Front).
“And they will probably win against Macron. The Left is not going to win,” he argued.
In Bricmont’s opinion, Salvini and Orban are far more popular in their countries than Macron is in France and he believes that Macron is in “a suicidal position.”