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France: Hollande: The European left will make no concessions to Turkey – by Cécile Barbière

At a meeting of Europe’s centre-left leaders on Saturday (12 March), François Hollande called for more effective controls on the EU’s external borders in order to protect the freedom of movement within the bloc.

Paris hosted a meeting of 17 national leaders in Paris on 12 March, ahead of the upcoming European summit on the refugee crisis, which will be held in Brussels on Thursday and Friday this week (17 and 18 March).

Alexis Tsipras, whose country is on the front line of the refugee crisis, was also invited to the mini-summit of centre-left leaders, a first for the radical left Greek prime minister.

“Alexis Tsipras joined us,” Hollande confirmed. “I wanted this meeting of the left to be opened to others, and Tsipras was invited and accepted. He considers himself a member of this family of the European left,” he added.

But as a critic of French policy, particularly on social issues, the Greek leader chose to keep a certain distance from this European meeting. According to the official programme, Greece was only an “observer state” at the meeting, not a full “participant”.

Read more: Hollande: The European left will make no concessions to Turkey –

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