French President Emmanuel Macron has been given the “kiss of death” by far-right leader Marine Le Pen after his party was forced to make concessions on a divisive new tough immigration bill.
The French parliament approved tighter legislation designed to strengthen the country’s ability to deport foreigners considered “undesirable”.
With Mr Macron’s centrist Renaissance Party not holding a majority in the National Assembly, it needed help from Ms Le Pen’s hard-right National Rally group to win a vote 349 to 186 on Tuesday night.
Ms Le Pen described the legislation as an ”ideological victory” for her party trumpeting the new bill as backing for her party’s aim of “national preference” when making immigration decisions.
French media said the intervention of Ms Le Pen’s party to get the new bill over the line was a “kiss of death” for Mr Macron.
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Hugh Schofield, the BBC’s Paris Correspondent, described Ms Le Pen’s move as a “coup” as she appeared to take the lead on an issue close to the hearts of many in France.
He wrote: “Unable to steer its original version of the immigration reform through parliament, the government had to accept a number of tougher changes forced on it by the mainstream right.
“Swallowing the harder-line version of the immigration law was bad enough for many in President Macron’s centrist Renaissance Party and its allies.
“What became unendurable was the coup pulled by Ms Le Pen as the vote in the National Assembly approached on Tuesday afternoon.”
Mr Schofield added that “out of the blue” Ms Le Pen said she was happy with the new tougher legislation which she said was due to pressure from her own party.
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Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said the text of the bill includes “useful, efficient provisions that were expected by our citizens”.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who championed the bill, said the government wants “greater firmness against foreign offenders.”
He said during a speech at the National Assembly: “Who here can say that we must allow criminals, people on our land, who attacks us, attack our professors and who attack our police forces and who attack the youth on the cafe terraces, without reacting?”
The bill still needs to be officially enacted into law.
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