Stars of stage, screen and politics have joined thousands of ordinary French citizens to protest against a new law authorising DNA tests for immigrants wanting to join their families in France. The concert in Paris was organised by the pressure group SOS Racisme. Critics of the proposal claim it infringes basic human rights and the principles of the French Republic. But supporters say it will help in the fight against welfare fraud.
The issue has united personalities from across the political spectrum – from the Mayor of Paris to the Socialist leader Francois Hollande and Francois Bayrou from the centrist MODEM: “Many French people, many religious leaders, philosophers, politicians and ordinary citizens don’t want it to come to this.” he told reporters.
“Its important that this kind of law never gets created. Even if there ARE 12 other countries doing it – there are countries which still have the death penalty, there are countries where stoning is still carried out and we are not about to follow their lead,” said actress Josiane Balasko.
The proposals were amended after a first reading in the Lower House. The DNA test will now be voluntary, taken from the mother only, overseen by a French magistrate and paid for by the government. Lawmakers will vote on the modified version in Paris tomorrow.