France

Hollande's plans to strip dual nationals of citizenship stirs the Left

Lille mayor and former labour minister Martine Aubry in Lille, March 9 2015
Lille mayor and former labour minister Martine Aubry in Lille, March 9 2015 AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN

French government plans to toughen security laws in the wake of the Paris attacks, which include stripping dual nationals of their citizenship, have come under fierce scrutiny from members within its own ranks. Lille mayor and former labour minister Martine Aubry has called into question the moral basis of the move.

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"I'm not sure stripping dual nationals of their citizenship is absolutely necessary," Martine Aubry told French TV channel BFM on Thursday.

The French government has introduced a raft of security measures since the Paris attacks on 13 November. The police has carried out over 2000 raids on suspects with terrorist links as part of new emergency state laws. Today President François Hollande wants the state to have even more sweeping powers, such as being able to strip dual nationals of their citizenship if they're involved in terrorist offences.

The prospect has sent alarm bells ringing within his Socialist party, concerned that the Left is jerking dangerously towards the Right.

"Should we treat dual nationals born in France differently? Should we be suspicious of anyone whose parents come from abroad?" Aubry continued.

In essence, the former Labour minister is criticizing what she considers to be a knee-jerk reaction on the part of the president "to give the allusion that he's going far enough."

Her comments come three days before regional elections, in which the Far-right Front National is slated to win.

The Paris attacks have reshaped the context. The focus is now less on social issues--although unemployment is higher than ever according to fresh statistics published on Thursday-and now more concentrated on security. A growing number of candidates are opting for stringent security measures in their manifestos to compete with Marine Le Pen.

"It's out of the question to let the Front National win," Aubry added, pledging her "full" support to François Hollande in regional elections, of which the first round kicks off this Sunday.

The fact remains however, that she still has doubts on whether his security face-lift suits him.

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