Why do these immigrants come? What possesses them to make that hard slog? A desire for a better life, perhaps?
Apparently the immigration procedure for these new ersatz French citizens is to (1) spend the first day signing up for the generous French dole available to all newcomers, the newcomers' multiple wives, and their extremely multiple children; and then (2) spend the second day—and every day thereafter—demanding that France accommodate itself to their imported cultural idiosyncrasies, and, moreover, that France modify itself as a whole to more closely resemble the appalling, grim, violent, impoverished and filthy backwaters of the earth from whence they came.
The attitude amongst these new unassimilated Frenchpersons seems to be: "We came all the way here from barbaric, medieval hellholes thousands of miles distant. The least you infidel garlic-eaters and frog-swallowers can do is to change your country to be just like those places—you know, so we'll feel at home."
But never mind about all that.
The big news of late is that for the first time in something like 36 years, France has elected an avowed socialist president. This is unusual in that it is a break from the regular French habit of electing semi-closeted socialists who pretend to be something else until they are found out. At least this new president can, right at the outset, say what he plans to do, in proud socialist fashion: suspend the laws of economics.
He's pledged to raise the minimum wage in order to promise France's large number of unemployed the fair and properly generous income they would get if they had jobs (which because of the new minimum wage they are now less likely to get, since they're now even more expensive to hire). An unemployed Frenchman can stand taller today, knowing that although his services may be required by nobody, they will soon be worth X francs more to nobody because the French government says so. He will henceforth be unemployed at a higher rate.
The new president-elect, one Francois Hollande (whose last name looks like "Holland" but sounds something like "Oleander") has pledged to set the official nationwide retirement age back to 60, from the dizzying draconian heights of SIXTY-TWO to which the heartless President Sarkozy recently got it bumped, in a baby step toward trimming long-term government obligations.
Twenty-year-old French men and women, to whom the age of 60+ lingers on a distant horizon, nevertheless took to the ramparts and rioted a bit when they got that news. Mostly because, well, rioting is fun; smashing things and setting fires is a hoot; and it's not like they had jobs to go to or anything.
Sarkozy stood firm on the issue (uncharacteristic for a Frenchman); but the New Guy, with a sharp eye on the presidency and a wet finger in the air, discerned a storm brewing which he correctly deduced could blow open the front door of the Elysee Palace and usher him right in.
After all the recent talk all over the continent of the necessity of (shudder) austerity, of how adjustments need to be made and realities faced, Monsieur Hollande courageously stepped right up and promised a break from reality, and the dreamy reestablishment of the Republic's commitment to the 35 hour work week, the five weeks—or is it six?— a year of vacation, the unsackability (if I may), of French employees (once hired, impossible to fire)—in sum, to all the goodies which the noble citizens of France have bestowed upon themselves through their votes, and have come to expect—no, demand!—will continue into perpetuity.
More bread! More circuses! In thoroughgoing socialist fashion, it is not for Monsieur Hollande to be inconvenienced regarding how these things will be provided, nor by what group or what mechanism; it is his bailiwick only to promise that they will be provided, leaving those unpleasant details to lesser men.