Eszter-Petronella SOÓS PhD

47. State of emergency and other proposals: this is where we are

Parliament extended the state of emergency until 2017. Six more months. Meanwhile, the situation have become more complicated, because more and more concrete anti-terrorism proposals come to light. The debate about political responsibility after Nice goes on.

  1. After the governing majority accepted some of the Republicans’ requests, the extension of the state of emergency was approved by 489 votes to 26 by the National Assembly. For six, an not three months, as initially proposed by the Socialist majority. In spite of the overwhelming vote, the debate was sharp. The text includes new elements about house searches and also establishes a new joint monitoring parliamentary committee.
  2. Senate also discussed the proposal, and adopted it with modifications. A formal joint committee of the Houses met right afterwards to come up with a common version. The negotiations succeeded, therefore the extension was formally adopted on Thursday afternoon.
  3. Meanwhile, an interesting article appeared on Le Monde‘s fast-checking website about the “government has not done everything against terrorism” argument. The article summarizes pretty well what had and what hadn’t been done. It turns out that “the government has done nothing” argument is an exaggeration. Things were getting done. But the “have not done” list also has an interesting feature, the creation of a unified anti-terrorist agency and the creation of a unified database. These proposals also figure in a parliamentary report published on July 5. Will they be implemented? I am very curious to know.
  4. Meanwhile, the National Front also comes up with tougher and tougher proposals (especially concerning non-citizen migrants; about the financing of Islam and its operation in France; about Schengen; and against the idea of territorial based citizenship).
  5. Presumably, this also motivates Republicans to show themselves uncompromising. For instance, former president Nicolas Sarkozy would have no problem with locking up radicalized people on the grounds of them being followed by secret services.
  6. Attacks against the government do not come only from the right. The main left-leaning newspaper, Libération, for instance, outright accused the government of lying about July 14 Nice security measures…
  7. The debate about political responsibility goes on. Let’s see where it takes French politics in the coming days.

Featured image: an Internet meme contrasting the tenacity of Charles de Gaulle and the perceived resignation of current PM Manuel Valls.

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