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Sarkozy says France has too many immigrants

Sarkozy says France has too many immigrants

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, seeking support from the far right as he fights an uphill battle for a second term, said Tuesday that his country has too many immigrants and is failing to integrate them.
So far, all polls point to a victory in Sunday's presidential runoff election by Sarkozy's challenger, Socialist Francois Hollande.
The conservative Sarkozy is hoping to win over the more than 6 million voters who supported far right leader Marine Le Pen in the first round of France's presidential elections April 22.
Le Pen is leading her anti-immigrant National Front's traditional May 1 march in Paris, and has promised to announce Tuesday how she wants her voters to cast their ballots for the runoff.
Across town, Sarkozy is holding a campaign rally of his own Tuesday where he is expected to reach out to the far right.
In a radio interview Tuesday morning, he was asked whether France has too many immigrants, and answered, "yes."
"Our system of integration doesn't work. Why? Because before we were able to integrate those who were received on our territory, others arrived. Having taken in too many people, we paralyzed our system of integration," he said on RMC radio.
"I will never argue for zero immigration, but the reality is that when you invite more people than you can handle, you no longer integrate them," he said.
While Sarkozy has flattered Le Pen by borrowing some of her rhetoric in immigrants and Muslims, Le Pen says the current president is already a has-been. She appears to be hoping that Hollande wins and Le Pen herself emerges as the face of the political opposition. The No. 2 in Le Pen's party has said he will cast a blank ballot out of protest.


Updated : 2021-01-21 14:38 GMT+08:00