Opposition to immigration after Brexit spreading across Europe

National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who’s built a political career fueling fears of immigration, plans to scrap it altogether, while Republican Francois Fillon and Socialist Benoit Hamon both want to stop foreigners with fewer labor rights undercutting French workers. With less than six weeks before the first round, candidates are vying for support from voters at the bottom end of the labor market who feel threatened by the influx of cheap foreign labor. Those who arrive on the guest-worker program pay social security contributions in their home countries — typically much lower than in France — and offer a cheaper alternative to French workers. Some 286,000 EU citizens were working on those terms in 2015, up 25 percent from a year before.

Morin-Chartier wrote to Fillon Friday to warn him that he risked provoking swift retaliation against 200,000 French citizens working as guests in other EU states. The heat on foreign workers, often low-skilled migrants laboring in agriculture, construction or domestic service, was turned up a notch last week when lawmakers in France’s two biggest regional economies introduced measures to encourage companies only to hire French speakers. Opposition to immigration helped swing the Brexit vote in the U.K. last year and is fueling criticism of Angela Merkel in Germany. Austria’s center-left chancellor, Christian Kern, has proposed incentives for companies that hire Austrian workers over foreigners.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: