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French parliament debates new terror legislation

French parliament debates new terror legislation
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The French parliament has begun debating an anti-terrorism bill designed to replace emergency measures in force since the Paris attacks nearly two years ago.

It has brought fierce criticism from right and left but President Macron’s centrist government believes the current state of emergency – already extended six times – can’t be maintained indefinitely.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told the National Assembly on Monday the aim was to end a situation that restricted individual freedoms, while passing into law anti-terrorist measures – setting a legal framework for powers such as those authorising police raids and confining people to house arrest.

The government says since the start of the year, some 20 attacks have been planned: four have been carried out, four have failed, and 12 others have been foiled.

In parliament the right-wing opposition attacked what it called a plan to “disarm the nation”, while the hard left has denounced it as “oppressive”.

A first reading vote on the bill is due in the lower house next week.