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France

France extends deadline for disabled access

A man in a wheelchair votes in the 2012 presidential election
A man in a wheelchair votes in the 2012 presidential election Reuters/Emmanuel Foudrot

France's parliament has allowed the government to extend deadlines for making buildings and facilities handicap accessible.

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Many public and private buildings have not managed to meet the requirements of a law on disabled access passed in 2005.

Now the government will be able to issue decrees ordering them to make their facilities accessible by next January.

The decrees would give public and private establishments receiving public funds three to nine more years to make their buildings accessible.

Of an estimated two million establishments needing to be made accessible, only 330,000 - about 15 per cent - have undergone complete or partial renovation.

The government insists it is not backing out of its commitment to accessibility but some critics said its plans had failed due to the lack of funding necessary for renovations.
 

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