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French government proposes prolonging state of emergency by four months: PM

140 Days ago

Paris: Facing "unprecedented, global and lasting terrorism threats," the French government is proposing changing the constitution to allow for easier implementation of a state of emergency and to limit its duration to four months, French Prime Minister Manual Valls said on Friday.

Addressing lawmakers, Valls said the government was "ready to restrict the extension of the state of emergency to a maximum of four months, and make it renewable."

Valls defended the "effective and indispensable" state of emergency imposed in the wake of a series of shootings and suicide bombings in November 2015, where a total of 130 people were killed, Xinhua reported.

"The terrorist menace is here and it will last," warned Valls, adding the proposed constitutional reforms aimed "to adapt the constitution to the reality of the terrorist threat."

Imposed the first time during the Algerian war in 1955, the state of emergency allows police to conduct searches without judicial warrants, put people under house arrest, close the country's borders and ban public gatherings.

According to Valls, the state of emergency helped to foil 11 terrorist assaults done through 3,289 raids. Police seized 560 arms with 341 people were placed into custody.

Speaking about the draft law to revoke citizenship of all dual nationals, including those who were born in France and convicted on terrorism charges, Valls argued that it was a "collective response of the French to the French who chose to wear to severely undermine the nation. It's a way to affirm what unites us."

More than 1,000 French nationals joined the Syrian civil war with 597 of them still in the conflict-torn Arab country, he added.

Senators will discuss the government's proposed draft laws to fight terrorism next Tuesday before presenting them to the National Assembly on February 16. (IANS)

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