Hillary Clinton says that the only way politicians in Europe can have a chance of stopping the growth of rightwing populist leaders is to cut back on migrant flows. Widespread fear of immigration has allowed populist leaders to gain power and the only way to combat that is to send a clear message that the continent is “not going to be able to continue to provide refuge and support,” the former presidential candidate said in an interview with the Guardian.
“I think Europe needs to get a handle on migration because that is what lit the flame,” Clinton said. The former secretary of state seems to imply in the interview that is not the approach she would like to recommend, but rather what is necessary to deal with the current reality. “I admire the very generous and compassionate approaches that were taken particularly by leaders like Angela Merkel, but I think it is fair to say Europe has done its part, and must send a very clear message … because if we don’t deal with the migration issue it will continue to roil the body politic,” she said.
Unless leaders are more willing to deal head on with concerns about migration, countries will be vulnerable to populists like President Trump who have managed to exploit the issue to their advantage, Clinton said.
“The use of immigrants as a political device and as a symbol of government gone wrong, of attacks on one’s heritage, one’s identity, one’s national unity has been very much exploited by the current administration here,” she said. “There are solutions to migration that do not require clamping down on the press, on your political opponents and trying to suborn the judiciary, or seeking financial and political help from Russia to support your political parties and movements.”
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