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FRANCE

9 out of 10 French support stripping bi-nationals of citizenship

French tricolor flag
French tricolor flag Frederic Bisson/ Flickr

Controversial government plans to to strip bi-nationals convicted of terrorism of their citizenship, received unexpected endorsement on Tuesday night. Opinion polls suggest that the majority of French people actually support the move.

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Almost 9 out of 10 French people support the Socialist government's plans to strip dual citizens found guilty of acts of terrorism on French soil, of their citizenship.

This, according to fresh opinion polls released on Tuesday night, hours after a group of Socialist MPs urged the party's ethics committee to strike down the plans, on the basis of their discriminatory nature.

Yet for two thirds of citizens and three quarters of left-wing supporters, the measures are compatible with Socialist' values; an endorsement that is likely to provide Prime minister Manuel Valls with some relief after facing down fierce backlash these past few days from within his own party that the government's plans 'betray' leftist values and the French Republic.

Thus, 86% of French people are in favour of amending the constitution to allow bi-nationals to be stripped of their French citizenship if they are convicted of terrorist offences. Whilst 13% say they are against.

However, these figures disguise the disparity of opinion among the country's left wing parties. The Left Party of Jean-Luc Melenchon for instance, are overwhelmingly against consututional reform by 54%.

Three fifths of MP's are needed to vote in the changes in Parliament, yet even the Socialist party's spokesman has hinted that this number may not be reached, such is the level of hostility to the reform.

Speaking on French radio station RTL, Olivier Faure stated the measure "may look good on the surface but in reality is nonsensical," implying it will do little to deter terrorists.

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