Disaster for Emmanuel Macron as French presidents holds ‘three crisis meetings in 24 hours | World | News

December 13, 2023
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Emmanuel Macron has been forced to hold “three crisis meetings in 24 hours” after the French president suffered a humiliating setback over his government’s immigration bill.

The French leader reportedly summoned top ministers for crisis talks at Elysée Palace on Tuesday evening (December 12) after the National Assembly voted down legislation aimed at bringing in tougher migration measures, FranceInfo reports. The defeat is the first time in 25 years that a government bill has been rejected by deputies before even being debated in the French legislature.

Following further crisis talks on Tuesday, Macron’s government has reportedly decided to refer the legislation back to a parliamentary committee made up of seven senators and seven lower house lawmakers. The goal is to create a compromised text, the content of which has already been through several rewrites, to break the current deadlock.

The proposed immigration legislation was drafted in part in response to the rise of France’s anti-immigrant far right. This is the second immigration law enacted by Macron since taking office in 2017, with the leftwing opposition accusing him of focusing excessively on immigration.

According to public opinion polls, French voters prioritise issues such as financial stability, education, and healthcare. According to Le Monde, the French parliament has voted on a new immigration law every two years on average since 1945.

The government claimed that the proposed legislation aimed to manage immigration while also improving integration. The legislation aimed to streamline the expulsion process for migrants serving five-year prison sentences or more, as well as to impose stricter restrictions on migrants bringing family members to France.

However, the bill was significantly less stringent than a draft proposed by the Senate, the upper house of parliament dominated by the right. The Senate draft proposed significant cuts to migrants’ access to healthcare and benefits.



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