French President Francois Hollande today promised that “France will remain a country of freedom,” defending his decision to honor a commitment to accept migrants and refugees despite Friday’s deadly terrorist attacks in Paris.
“Life should resume fully,” Hollande told a gathering of the country’s mayors, who gave him a standing ovation. “What would France be without its museums, without its terraces, its concerts, its sports competitions?
“France should remain as it is. Our duty is to carry on our lives.”
In the same spirit, he added, “30,000 refugees will be welcomed over the next two years. Our country has the duty to respect this commitment,” explaining that they will undergo vigorous security checks.
Hollande noted that “some people say the tragic events of the last few days have sown doubts in their minds,” but called it a “humanitarian duty” to help those people … but one that will go hand in hand with “our duty to protect our people.”
“We have to reinforce our borders while remaining true to our values,” he said.