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French presidential campaign shaken by Paris shooting

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By Seamus Kearney
French presidential campaign shaken by Paris shooting

<p>The gun attack on the Champs-Elysee came during a TV appearance by the eleven candidates in Sunday’s presidential ballot. </p> <p>This forced the contenders, whether they liked it or not, to all give their reactions to the events, bringing the issue of security to the fore.</p> <p>One of the candidates high in the polls, centrist Emmanuel Macron, said: “Our moral challenge today and for the years ahead is to not let us become divided, but also to prepare our future. </p> <p>“What they want is a collapse in morality, to watch us fall into ruin. And I will not give in to this. We will not play with fear.”</p> <p>Border security was highlighted by the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, who is also leading in the polls with Macron. </p> <p>She said: “I call for the restoration of our borders with regards to the Schengen agreement and immediate judicial measures against all people listed on the terrorism surveillance list.</p> <p>“That means those in our country known for their belief in the ideology of the enemy.”</p> <p>The right-wing candidate Francois Fillon also gave a tough reaction. </p> <p>“My foreign policy priority will be the destruction of <span class="caps">ISIL</span> because it is threatening us directly. This will only be possible the day when all big powers really act together,” he said.</p> <p>“The more the <span class="caps">USA</span>, Europe, Russia, Iran, Turkey and the Golf States are divided, the longer victory against Islamic totalitarianism will be delayed.”</p> <p>The far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melanchon was against interrupting campaigning.</p> <p>“No panic, don’t interrupt the process of our democracy to show the violent that they will not have the last word over republicans,” he said.</p> <p>The candidate for the Socialists, Benoit Hamon, said: “We must cherish this democratic moment exactly because others hate it, notably the terrorists who kill.”</p>