France criticises itself over refugee intake

Number of people welcomed is still extremely insufficient, says French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault

France admitted on Tuesday the country’s refugee intake had been inadequate and slow, adding that the efforts to improve the situation will be redoubled, adhering to the agreement were adopted by the EU and Turkey.  

According to the deal, all refugees and migrants, including Syrians who crossed the Aegean and set foot into Greece are to be taken back by Turkey. Then the unity will take thousands of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey.

In return, the EU will back Turkey in acknowledgment of its efforts by funding money, provide visa-free travel for Turkish citizens in the Schengen-zone and progress in its membership negations.

French Foreign Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, told reporters during a meeting with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier that "The number of people welcomed is still extremely insufficient compared to our commitments and we will need to redouble our efforts."

France had promised, in September, to welcome 30,000 refugees over two years after the countries form the union decided to divide the numbers among themselves.

"We decided to relocate a part of the refugees that are in Greece to France and we want to participate on the implementation of the accord with Turkey," Ayrault said.

"Germany has started, but we will also do it. We will meet our commitments, but you need time. We have numbered commitments, [but] we have fallen a little behind."


TRTWorld and agencies