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Europe and Immigration

 FRANCE

The strong showing of Jean Marie Le Pen in the French presidential election was a sign that, in many parts of France, there is resentment against immigrants, especially those from North and West Africa.

But for many French-speaking immigrants, France is a magnet. Visa laws are applied only loosely and many find it easy to stay. The new right-wing government will try to change that, though France is already tougher in some ways than Britain.

Asylum seekers must wait 12 months for a work permit, compared with six in the UK, one reason so many would-be immigrants try to cross the English Channel.

Like other European countries, France faces the dilemma of multi-culturalism versus integration - how far should immigrant communities retain their distinct character?

In the past, the value of communities retaining their identities has been stressed. These days, the pendulum has swung, and better integration is the aim.

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Le Pen's success 'stuns' ethnic minorities

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