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Foreign low-skilled workers not required in modern European democracy: Gueant


France’s Interior Minister generates debate of sorts
24th May 2011: France’s Interior Minister Claude Gueant has generated debate of sorts by saying it was a myth that thousands of foreign low-skilled workers were required in a modern European democracy.
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The assertion on French radio came as Gueant launched a verbal attack on immigrant ‘waiters and bricklayers’ gushing into France. They are not needed, he said.

24th May, 2011: France’s Interior Minister Claude Gueant has generated debate of sorts by saying it was a myth that thousands of foreign low-skilled workers were required in a modern European democracy.

The assertion on French radio came as Gueant launched a verbal attack on immigrant ‘waiters and bricklayers’ gushing into France. They are not needed, he said.

Gueant said contrary to legend, it is untrue that they have need of talent, of skills. There are around 2000 people who come here who are qualified. But they don’t need builders, or waiters. They have enough of these among French people.’

The statement comes just about a month after Gueant indicated he was just as interested in halting legal migrants as legal ones.

Though dubbed by some as racist, his words were reiterated by President Nicolas Sarkozy. He said raising questions on the number of migrants France admitted each year was common sense, especially in light of the high unemployment in France.
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Sarkozy had asserted with their problems in finding a job for their citizens, and an unemployment rate for non-Europeans of 23 per cent, they must look into the question of legal immigration.

He asserted France’s active population was growing by 110,000 annually. He would not say the same thing, if he was running Germany, lost 100,000 active people each year.’

Sarkozy added they must adapt economic immigration to these realities and make sure their professional training better matches the needs of our economy.

Reacting to the assertion, president of the Union of Jewish Students of France Arielle Schwab blamed Gueant for fuelling a fear of foreigners in France. The foreigner is seen as a thorn in the side of France.

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Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka at Southbank Centre June 1st