Africans will flood world, says Chirac

Speaking on French television on Bastille Day, Chirac said rich Western countries should give more in development aid to help African countries or many of its young people would leave in search of a better life.

He said that almost half of the 950 million people living on the continent were under 17, adding that the population would more than double by the middle of the century.

“We have an immense problem . . . of development,” he said.

“If we do not develop Africa, if we do not make available the necessary resources to bring about this development, these people will flood the world.”

Chirac said that there was a need to “go back to the basic issues with regard to immigration”.

He added: “One cannot solve a problem entirely outside its context, and the context here is north-south (divide).”

Chirac, 73, whose second term as president ends next year, has not said whether he will run for re-election, but it is widely expected that he will not choose to run amid falling popularity rates.

Immigration and race issues have featured strongly in French politics recently and last week saw the return of disorder in Paris’s northern suburbs, where last year’s nationwide riots began amid ethnic tension.

Youths set fire to about 60 cars and 30 rubbish bins before dawn and a police officer was injured as a cherry bomb, a large dangerous firework banned in some countries, exploded.

Police detained 32 people, holding 21 of them for further questioning. There were no confrontations between youths and police, although some youths tossed various projectiles, the statement said. ‘ the scotsman.

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