French PM Manuel Valls says refugee crisis is ‘destabilising’ Europe

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The Guardian reports: The French prime minister, Manuel Valls, has said Europe cannot take in all the refugees fleeing wars in Iraq and Syria and that the crisis was putting the concept of Europe itself in grave danger.

Speaking to the BBC at the economic forum in Davos, Valls said Europe needed to take urgent action to control its external borders. “Otherwise,” he said, “our societies will be totally destabilised.”

Asked about border controls inside Europe, which many fear put the passport-free Schengen zone at risk, Valls said the concept of Europe was in jeopardy. “If Europe is not capable of protecting its own borders, it’s the very idea of Europe that will be questioned,” he said.

He said a message to refugees that says “Come, you will be welcome”, provoked major shifts in population. “Today, when we speak in Europe, a few seconds later it is mainly on the smartphones in the refugee camps,” Valls said.

The large numbers of refugees in Europe has been a persistent theme of the Davos summit. The Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, on Thursday said Europe was close to breaking point and needed to come up with a common response or run the risk that one of the European Union’s founding principles would start to unravel. [Continue reading…]

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