France ends state of emergency

Two years after the Paris terrorist attacks of November 2015 France has ended the state of emergency declared in their aftermath. However, with the new security legislation that has simultaneously come into effect many emergency powers will become law. Commentators discuss whether the French should get used to their civil freedoms being curtailed.

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Libération (FR) /

Police need more funding instead of new laws

France would be a lot better off if more money were invested in conventional police work instead, writes Laurent Joffrin, editor-in-chief of Libération:

“Of course the state has every reason to increase the budget for counter-terrorism. Nevertheless it's the day-to-day intelligence and policing activities, governed by ordinary laws and above all requiring considerable financial resources and personnel, that are most effective. ... When the exception becomes the rule, liberties are curtailed without guaranteeing any noticeable rise in security. One could argue that even if they're not practical such measures appease public opinion. But that same public opinion should also remember that defending democracy against its enemies has above all one goal: to protect our constitutional state and civil liberties.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

French want a strong state

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung doesn't believe the new anti-terror law will trigger major protest:

“The warnings about the loss of civil freedoms ignore the reality of everyday life for most French people. The Paris night of terror on 13 November 2015 on which 130 people died is engraved in the nation's memory. The knowledge that Islamist terrorists can strike any time on the streets, in cafes, in restaurants, outside football stadiums or at a concert hall is always present in their minds. Even if the emergency laws weren't able to prevent the bloodbath on the promenade in Nice or the murder of two police officers and a priest, they at least fulfilled many people's desire for a stronger state once more.”