• Mon
  • Aug 18, 2014
  • Updated: 2:45pm
NewsWorld

Soccer riots prove France must ban dual nationality, says Marine Le Pen

Riots after Algeria's World Cup win 'show total failure of immigration policies'

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 June, 2014, 9:19pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 July, 2014, 3:56am

France's far-right leader Marine Le Pen says dual nationality should be revoked following riots after Algeria's last World Cup match, which she claimed showed the "failure" of French immigration policy.

Celebrations after Algeria's historic qualification for the second round of the football World Cup on Thursday turned violent in some French cities, leading to the arrests of 74 people for rioting and looting.

National Front leader Le Pen said this showed "the total failure of immigration policies in our country and the refusal expressed by a number of binational citizens to assimilate".

She suggested those holding dual nationality should support France in international tournaments and not their country of origin. "Now we must put a stop to dual nationality," she said.

Algerians make up France's largest immigrant group, with close to two million people, and many hold dual citizenship.

"What is clear is there is a not insignificant number of people that are choosing Algeria over France," Le Pen said. "You should pick: are you Algerian or French, Moroccan or French, but you cannot be both."

Joy erupted on the streets of France after the historic Algerian qualification, but in some parts of the country celebrations turned sour after clashes with riot police. The central city of Lyon was particularly hard-hit, with shops looted, several dozen cars set on fire and firefighters assaulted, according to the interior ministry.

Former prime minister Francois Fillon, of the centre-right UMP, said Le Pen's proposal "would change nothing", adding that it was "not a legal problem".

"It is a failure of integration policies, and now we have a generation that is not proud to be French," he said.

The group SOS Racisme said it was "as dangerous as it is concerning" for Le Pen to use a few isolated incidents to support the National Front's agenda.

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