MS Risk Blog

France Votes to Extend State of Emergency by Six Months

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France’s National Assembly voted this month in order to extend the state of emergency for six months. The move follows the attack in Nice in which 84 people were killed and scores injured when a lorry was driven into crowds. It also comes after President Francois Hollande stated earlier this month, and prior to the attack in Nice, that he did not intend to extend the state of emergency beyond 26 July.

The latest extension effectively brings the state of emergency until the end of January 2017. It is the fourth extension that France’s parliament has proposed and the move must be approved by the Senate. The last extension was to cover the Euro 2016 football tournament and the end of the Tour de France cycling race.

As France continues to grapple with the growing threat from jihadist militants, Prime Minister Manuel Valls has warned that France must expect more deadly attacks despite precautions taken by his government. Speaking at the debate in the National Assembly, Valls stated that France would have to learn to live with the threat. He went on to say that “even if these words are hard to say, its my duty to do so…There will be other attacks and there will be other innocent people killed. We must not become accustomed, we must never become accustomed, to the horror, but we must learn to live with this menace.”

The state of emergency was initially brought in after terror attacks occurred in Paris in November 2015, in which 130 people were killed. That attack was claimed by the so-called Islamic State (IS) group. The emergency measures give the police additional powers to carry out searches and to place people under house arrest.

Questions however have emerged over what impact the emergency measures have had on the country. A recent commission of inquiry found that the state of emergency was only having a “limited impact” on improving security. It further questioned the deployment of between 6,000 and 7,000 soldiers to protect schools, synagogues, department stores and other sensitive sites.

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