Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday migrants must “live like the French” if they want to call the country home, and promised to require assimilation if he is re-elected president.
“If you want to become French, you speak French, you live like the French,” Sarkozy said, referring to immigrants who are granted citizenship. “We will no longer settle for integration that does not work. We will require assimilation.”
Sarkozy is making a bid to return to the presidency in 2017.
“Once you become French, your ancestors are the Gauls,” he added. “‘I love France, I learned the history of France, I see myself as French,’ is what you must say.”
Sarkozy promised to wage a “merciless” war on Islamic terror if elected, and voiced support for a universal ban of the controversial burkini swimsuit. “I will not accept the medieval behaviour that wants men to swim in swimsuits while the women are locked up’ in burkinis.”
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls also supports the ban, saying it’s not compatible with French values, and six French communities have already banned the full-body swimsuit. The debate over the burkini escalated recently when a group of Muslims got in a fight with locals at a public beach.
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