Hillary Clinton urged Europe to have a unified stand on the issue of migration to prevent the right-wing populist movement from growing stronger. Although, the former U.S Secretary of State and 2016 presidential candidate commended European leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel for their efforts to take in migrants, she stressed that they should make it clear that they won’t be always able to “provide refuge and support.”
“I think Europe needs to get a handle on migration because that is what lit the flame,” Clinton said, referring to the rise of right wing populists like Trump and movements like Brexit. If Europe doesn’t properly deal with the migration issue, “it will continue to roil the body politic,” she said in the interview.
Mrs. Clinton warned Europe’s leaders that if they do not curb migration issues, they are giving right wing populist an opportunity to exploit it.
“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 and 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.”
Mrs. Clinton also stated that Brexit was “largely about immigration” and noted the rise of right-wing populists has risen to meet “a psychological as much as political yearning to be told what to do and have their press basically stifled and so be given one version of reality”.
She believes that populists are tapping on people’s emotions and ride on the growing anti-migrants sentiment.
“I don’t know why at this moment that is so attractive to people, but it’s a serious threat to our freedom and our democratic institutions. We’ve got to do a better job of shining a light on it and trying to combat it,” she said.