France is one of the countries that grant the most protection to Afghans, the Elysee told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Tuesday (August 17) in response to criticism of left-wing elected officials about the remarks of ‘Emmanuel Macron worried about possible “Irregular migratory flows” from Afghanistan after the Taliban took power in the country.
“We have nothing to be ashamed of, because we are one of the countries which welcome the most Afghans and which give them the most protection”, the presidency told AFP. In the context of the crisis linked to the Taliban’s return to power, “France is very attentive to the situation of the Afghans”, consider the Elysee, but ” this does not prevent – which would be naive and lack of responsibility – to be very firm in the face of trafficking and networks that take advantage of poverty and fear ” of those who wish to leave the country.
Several officials of the left and associations denounced the remarks made Monday evening by Emmanuel Macron, who assured that France was doing “Its duty to protect those who are most threatened”, while affirming the need to “Protect us against significant irregular migratory flows”.
Faced with the start of the controversy – and while his words had been mocked by whistleblower Edward Snowden via Twitter post : “Emmanuel Le Pen! “-, the head of state had specified Monday shortly before midnight, also on Twitter, about his statements “That some want to divert”, that “France is doing and will continue to do its duty to protect those who are most threatened”.
A “confusion between asylum and irregular immigration”
The environmentalist deputy (ex-La République en Marche) Matthieu Orphelin accused him of maintaining a “Confusion between asylum and irregular immigration”, while the president of SOS Racisme, Dominique Sopo, affirmed that “People fleeing war, oppression and death” were not “Irregular migratory flows”. For the Elysee, “Collective interest” of the international community is “To anticipate” in “Coordination with the neighboring countries of Afghanistan and the transit countries”.
“Vigilance is necessary with regard to networks, human trafficking and malicious intentions”, added a presidential adviser, alluding to possible terrorist threats. “The more we anticipate, the more we can do our duty”, he stressed, specifying that France would take “Its share within the framework of an international agreement”.
The candidate for the primary environmentalist Yannick Jadot said to himself “Flabbergasted” to hear “That the women, men and children who flee the hell of the Taliban are first of all a threat”, and the mayor of Grenoble, Eric Piolle (Europe Ecologie-Les Verts), considered that “Macron shames France”. Same indignation among the deputies Insubordinate France, where Adrien Quatennens accused the Head of State of “Stunt France”, while Clémentine Autain and Eric Coquerel denounced a response “Sordid”.
On the right, Xavier Bertrand, presidential candidate, warned before the speech of the Head of State that “The Afghan crisis will continue in the form of a new wave of migration in Europe”. On the subject of migration, where the discourse has hardened in recent months within the Republicans party, the president of the group in the Senate, Bruno Retailleau, called for “Firmness”. “France does not have the means for one more migratory wave”, also estimated Laurent Wauquiez, president Les Républicains of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.
Since 2018, France has received some 10,000 asylum requests from Afghans, for a total of around 50,000 for all the countries of the European Union. The Ofpra (French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons), which has handled 8,200 cases since the start of the year, grants the request for protection in 64% of cases, a figure which reaches 89.9% after examining the appeal, against an average of 63% across the EU, according to figures provided by the Elysee to AFP.