Belgian minister: Europe needs Australian approach to migration17 June 2018 | 07:47 | FOCUS News Agency
“Aren’t there any safe ports in North Africa? Those who come to Europe should lose their right to asylum,” Francken, who leads the right-wing New Flemish Alliance (N-VA), said in an interview with Flemish daily Nieuwsblad published Saturday.
Europe, he added, should only accept refugees who ask for asylum via U.N. camps in conflict zones and send back those who arrive on its shores by boat.
“This illegal migration must stop,” Francken told the Flemish daily. “Aside from 15 percent who support open borders, the support of a majority of the population is melting that snow in the sun. These are people who aren’t at all racist, but who think rationally.”
Francken — who consistently polls as the most popular politician in Flanders — was one of few European ministers to express support earlier this week for Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s decision to close the country’s ports to a vessel carrying more than 600 migrants. “If nobody wants to take the migrants, we will have to set up a refugee camp in North Africa,” he told Italian daily Il Giornale.
The Flemish right-wing politician is not alone in calling for a tough response to migration in Europe. Austria’s conservative leader Sebastian Kurz has called for an “axis of the willing against illegal migration” between Italy, Germany and his own country, and pledged to make fighting illegal immigration a top priority for Vienna’s presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2018.
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