France strengthens border security after attacks

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French President Emmanuel Macron Thursday, pledged to strengthen border security after a series of attacks, including a stabbing in a church in Nice blamed on a Tunisian migrant.

During a visit to the border between France and Spain, Macron also called for “in-depth” reforms of the passport-free Schengen area in Europe.

Flanked by the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin and Minister of European Affairs Clement Beaune, he said he would unveil proposals to strengthen border security at the next EU summit in December.

The proposals would include “stepping up our common border protection with a genuine police security force at the EU’s external borders,” Macron said.

In the meantime, he said the number of guards at France’s borders with its EU neighbors would be doubled to 4,800 from 2,400 “due to the heightened threat” of terrorism, he said. -he declares.

Last week, France raised its attack alert to the highest level after three people were stabbed to death in a church in the city of Nice, in the third suspected jihadist attack in just over a month .

The suspect, a 21-year-old man who arrived in Europe from Tunisia in September, reached France by crossing the Mediterranean to Italy and then to France by land.

He has been shot and killed by police several times and remains in hospital.

The Nice attack echoed the murder of a schoolteacher two weeks earlier Samuel Paty, who was beheaded by an 18-year-old Chechen refugee for showing his class cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a lesson on free speech.

Paty’s murder caused a deep shock in France, where an attack on a teacher is seen as an attack on the republic itself.

Right-wing and far-right political parties have since called for the principle of secularism cherished in France, which relegates religion strictly to the private sphere, to benefit from additional constitutional guarantees.

But Macron, a centrist, rejected the suggestion on Thursday.

“The situation does not justify changing the constitution,” he said.

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