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Hollande vows to place security ahead of austerity


Hollande vows to place security ahead of austerity

French President Francois Hollande says he is determined to destroy ISIL, the extremist group that has admitted killing scores of people in attacks in central Paris last Friday.

Delivering what has been dubbed an “historic” address to a specially-convened joint session of the French parliament, M. Hollande announced plans to extend France’s current state of emergency beyond 12 days to three months.

He also outlined changes to the French constitution, the creation of thousands more security jobs around the country and a continuation of France’s military involvement against ISIL in Syria.

The speech before the Congress in Versailles came three days after 129 people were killed and hundreds injured in a series of attacks on a football stadium, bars, restaurants and a concert venue in Paris.

Euronews Correspondent Fabien Farge was in Versailles to hear Francois Hollande give his historic speech.

Laurence Alexandrowicz (Lyon): We cross now to Fabien Farge, the Euronews correspondent in Paris. Fabien, you listened to Francois Hollande’s speech before the Congress. Three days after the atrocities, did he fulfill the expectations of the politicians and the French people?

Fabien Farge (Versailles): When a President of France speaks out the reaction always varied and broadly follows the contours of the political landscape. The Left has welcomed it as firm and committed with a number of measures like the creation of more police and customs officers. There are also plans for the state of emergency to be extended to last three months, parliament will debate that and vote on it by the end of this week.

The right, however, is divided and even disappointed. The politician Hervé Marietton says he is disappointed with the measures announced by Francois Hollande, particularly regarding what he refers to as internal borders. For example, he has criticised the president for not using the word “Islamism”

Laurence Alexandrowicz: What is the most important thing to take away from this speech? You have spoken of unity. This is not a given, however, as there is already disagreement on a way forward, notably from the right.

Fabien Farge: Yes, cracks are appearing in our national sense of unity. Some of the measures the President has announced, for example the creation of extra jobs, are going to cost a lot of money and will create more financial pressure. Francois Hollande summed it up succinctly when he said France’s domestic security is more important at this moment in time than the Europe’s financial stability.

The need to engage militarily due to the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in means we will also have to commit more resources to defence.

Bear in mind there are also plans for constitutional reform, modifications to what is known as the “State of Exception” with a whole raft of judicial measures to be implemented and a number of laws to be voted on in the coming weeks here in France.

Laurence Alexandrowicz: thank you, Fabien Farge, our correspondent in Versailles where French President