The strong showing of Jean Marie Le Pen in the French
presidential election was a sign that, in many parts of France, there
is resentment against immigrants, especially those from North and West
But for many French-speaking immigrants, France is a magnet. Visa
laws are applied only loosely and many find it easy to stay. The new
right-wing government will try to change that, though France is
already tougher in some ways than Britain.
Asylum seekers must wait 12 months for a work permit, compared with
six in the UK, one reason so many would-be immigrants try to cross the
Like other European countries, France faces the dilemma of
multi-culturalism versus integration - how far should immigrant
communities retain their distinct character?
In the past, the value of communities retaining their identities
has been stressed. These days, the pendulum has swung, and better
integration is the aim.
Le Pen's success 'stuns' ethnic minorities