Posts Tagged ‘French’

Le Pen plan to jettison euro spooks French business

March 26, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File / by Daphné BENOIT | France’s National Front leader Marine Le Pen blames the euro for driving up prices, hurting exports and adding to France’s already colossal trade deficit

PARIS (AFP) – The euro — and her fervent wish to withdraw from it — is a central theme of every stump speech by French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, topping her list of 144 election pledges.

Le Pen calls the single European currency a “a knife that you stick in a country’s ribs to force it to do what its people don’t want to do”.

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The leader of the National Front (FN) blames the euro for driving up prices, hurting exports and adding to France’s already colossal trade deficit.

She has pledged that, if elected, she will throw off the shackles of the common currency and restore France’s monetary sovereignty by resurrecting the franc.

With all opinion polls showing her getting past the first round of the election on April 23, making the once-unthinkable prospect of a far-right presidency no longer completely implausible, economists and business leaders are worried.

Although Le Pen, 48, currently looks set to lose the May 7 runoff, probably to independent centrist Emmanuel Macron, no one is being complacent.

“No one knows what will happen,” said Jean-Lou Blachier of France’s Confederation of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses, referring to Britain’s surprise vote to leave the EU and Donald Trump’s shock election in the United States last year.

Le Pen argues that bringing back the franc would help retool France’s ailing industrial sector.

She believes a devalued national currency would make exports cheaper, boosting job creation.

Emboldened by Britain’s taboo-breaking Brexit vote, Le Pen also promises to hold a “Frexit” referendum, saying the EU “shuts us in, constrains us, bullies us”.

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– ‘Whole eurozone could disappear’ –

Most experts however say that scrapping the euro would be disastrous, and not just for France.

Ratings agencies have warned that the eurozone’s second-biggest economy could be headed for a default if the country converts its towering 2.2 trillion-euro debt into francs.

“If France leaves the single currency, the whole eurozone could disappear,” said Mathieu Plane of a French economic think tank, the OFCE, warning of an “unprecedented crisis”.

Benoit Coeure, who sits on the board of the European Central Bank, warned that France’s borrowing costs would rise and that prices would rise, rather than fall.

“Inflation, which would be out of the hands of the ECB, would eat into savings, fixed incomes and pensions,” he said.

“Leaving the euro would be choosing impoverishment.”

– ‘Project Fear’ –

Le Pen has dismissed the criticism as scaremongering.

“That’s called Project Fear. It was used before Brexit,” she told her conservative rival Francois Fillon during a TV debate this month when he warned her programme would trigger “economic and social chaos”.

Le Pen has said she can organise an orderly exit from the eurozone and suggested bringing back the European Currency Unit (ECU), a pre-euro basket of currencies, that businesses could use alongside the franc.

But polls show voters are still unconvinced.

Paris University economics professor Dominique Meurs said that despite the resistance, he expected Le Pen to stick to her guns.

“Leaving the euro and the EU is completely consistent with the FN’s obsession with the national identity (and) its total rejection of multilateral decisions,” she said.

Such a move would be a “dramatic break” with European convention, Meurs said.

“What she is proposing is not some small change, it’s really a big deal because she could potentially be elected.”

It is not just in France that big business is worried about Le Pen’s election pledges.

Giant Swiss bank Credit Suisse said this month a Le Pen victory in May was the biggest risk to European stability.

by Daphné BENOIT

Putin Meets Le Pen as Far Right Leader Criticizes Sanctions

March 24, 2017

By Henry Meyer
Bloomberg News

March 24, 2017, 6:10 AM EDT March 24, 2017, 8:15 AM EDT
  • Putin says not trying to influence French presidential poll
  • Le Pen fighting for top spot in first-round vote on April 23

Russian President Vladimir Putin held an unprecedented meeting with French presidential contender Marine Le Pen at the Kremlin Friday, hours after the National Front leader had urged a joint fight against terrorism and an end to European Union sanctions against his country.

“We’re not trying in any way to influence events but we reserve the right for ourselves to meet with representatives of all political forces of the country, as our partners do, for example in Europe and the U.S.,” Putin said in televised comments of the opening of their meeting, which wasn’t announced in advance.

Vladimir Putin and Marine Le Pen at the Kremlin on March 24.

Photographer: Mikhail Klimentyev/AFP via Getty Images

“This meeting is especially important now that a serious terrorist threat hangs over all of us,” Le Pen said, according to a transcript provided by the Kremlin. At talks with Putin ally, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, earlier Friday, Le Pen said she’s always opposed EU sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine conflict as “counterproductive.”

The visit by the far right firebrand comes a day after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hailed Le Pen and U.S. President Donald Trump as “realists” and not as representatives of “populist” political views. Le Pen, who’s seen in polls as likely to reach the May 7 run-off for the presidency, is Putin’s most outspoken admirer among the top five French candidates. She openly backs his 2014 annexation of Crimea that along with the covert Russian military intervention in eastern Ukraine prompted the EU to impose punitive measures.

Le Pen’s visit to Moscow was an “excellent opportunity” to meet Putin for the first time, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call. They didn’t discuss financial aid for the National Front, Peskov said.

Campaign Finance

Le Pen is seeking money to help her finance her presidential run and says French banks are refusing to lend her the millions of euros she needs. So far, she has a 6-million-euro loan from Cotelec, according to wealth filings with authorities made public this week.

Russia’s First Czech-Russian Bank OOO helped Le Pen finance an earlier campaign with a 9-million-euro loan in 2014. In the same year, party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen’s political fund Cotelec received another 2-million-euro loan from a Russian-backed fund based in Cyprus, news website Mediapart reported.

Russia appeared to switch its support from Le Pen to Francois Fillon when he emerged as the conservative Republicans’ contender for the French presidency, with Putin telling reporters in November that they had “very good” relations. With support for Fillon sliding ahead of next month’s first-round voting, polls show Le Pen is likely to face and lose to Emmanuel Macron in the run-off, a 39-year-old independent who backs the EU sanctions and accuses the Kremlin of cyberattacks on his campaign.

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-03-24/le-pen-urges-russia-france-to-join-effort-in-fighting-terrorism

Le Pen visits Russia ahead of French presidential election

March 24, 2017

AFP, Reuters and The Associated Press

© Alain Jocard, AFP | An admirer of Vladimir Putin, France’s Marine Le Pen has described the Russian president as “good for world peace”.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-03-24

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen was due in Moscow on Friday for meetings with lawmakers less than a month before a presidential election clouded by allegations of Russian interference.

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The leader of the National Front, an anti-immigrant and anti-European Union party, is seeking to bolster her international credentials ahead of the two-round French election on April 23 and May 7.

Her visit comes on the heels of a trip this week to Chad, base of a French military operation that’s aimed at rooting out Islamic extremists from a swath of Africa.

The head of the Russian Duma’s international affairs committee, Leonid Slutsky, was quoted by the Tass news agency as saying Le Pen would hold meetings on the “international agenda such as the war on terrorism”.

There was no official word as to whether the French far-right leader would meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom she has described as “good for world peace”.

The trip comes at a time when lawmakers in the US are investigating President Donald Trump‘s campaign links to Russia.

Le Pen, an admirer of both Trump and Putin, has made multiple visits to Russia, as have her father, niece and other members of the National Front, often meeting with Russian legislators.

IS LE PEN’S RUSSIAN CASH PIPELINE DRYING UP?

She received a $9 million loan from a Russian bank in 2014 that raised concerns over Moscow’s potential influence on her and her party.

Moscow has courted far-right parties in Europe in an influence-building campaign as friction between Russia and the West has mounted over the conflict in Ukraine and the Syrian civil war.

Le Pen has said she considers Crimea – which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014 – a part of Russia, and would cultivate closer ties with Russia if elected president rather than pressuring it over Putin’s authoritarian policies.

National Front Treasurer Wallerand de Saint-Just said Le Pen’s trip is not a cash-raising exercise, though party members have said they are seeking millions to fund both the presidential and the ensuing parliamentary election campaigns.

Current polls suggest Le Pen could win the first round of voting but would lose the second round to centrist Emmanuel Macron.

A senior aide to Macron has accused Russia of using its state media to spread fake news to discredit Macron and influence the outcome of the vote.

The Russian connections of the number three presidential contender, François Fillon, have also been a feature of the campaign ahead of the first-round vote in a month’s time.

The Kremlin has denied meddling in the campaign. It also said this week that a French media report alleging Fillon was paid to arrange introductions to Putin was “fake news”.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS)

Marine Le Pen accuses rivals of promoting ‘project fear’ as Brexit looms large in presidential debate — Fillon accused Ms Le Pen of being a “serial killer” of the French economy

March 21, 2017

The Telegraph

Marine Le Pen was accused of being a "serial killer" of the French economy

Marine Le Pen was accused of being a “serial killer” of the French economy CREDIT: AFP

By Henry Samuel

Marine Le Pen accused her main rivals in France’s presidential race of promoting “project fear” over her plans to leave the European Union and the euro in an unprecedented televised debate on Monday night.

Brexit was the focal point of one of the most violent clashes in the three-hour debate – the first of three before the first round of voting on April 23 – in which the five main candidates finally started discussing policy in a campaign dogged by sleaze allegations.

In one of a series of heated exchanges, conservative nominee François Fillon accused Ms Le Pen of being a “serial killer” of the French economy in her plan to exit the euro, restore the franc, and to hold a referendum on leaving the EU.

“You are dragging the country towards veritable economic and social chaos, which would lead to the ruin of both borrowers and savers,” he said.

Polls suggest that almost three quarters of the French are against Ms Le Pen’s plan to replace the euro with the franc, with many fearing it could spark a bank run if she was elected.

Candidates from left to right: Francois Fillon, Emmanuel Macron, Jean-Luc Melenchon, Marine Le Pen and Benoit Hamon 
Candidates from left to right: Francois Fillon, Emmanuel Macron, Jean-Luc Melenchon, Marine Le Pen and Benoit Hamon  CREDIT: AP

Ms Le Pen, who, according to polls, will reach the final round of the election only to be trounced by independent centrist Emmanuel Macron, hit back: “That’s called project fear.”

“They used the same argument before the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump,” she said.

Mr Macron, 39, an ex-banker and former economy minister who has never held elected office, chimed in, saying: “Those who were responsible for Brexit, who said everything is possible and it will be wonderful have all scampered off. They have all gone into hiding.”

He predicted that Britain would suffer from leaving the EU.

“We’re going to start seeing the results (of their departure). Because it’s other Conservatives who are going to have to deal with it, and by the way we’re going to have to be incredibly rigorous (in negotiating with Britain about its exit by not giving them any undue concessions),” he said.

Ms Le Pen told him to “be a good sport”.

“The results in Britain are wonderful. They have unemployment that is lower than it’s been for decades.”

“But they have not left yet,” Mr Fillon said. “They are right in the middle of it.”

The pair also clashed on secularism, when Ms Le Pen claimed Mr Macron was in favour of the burkini, the body-covering Islamic garment that was recently the subject of controversy on French beaches.

“I don’t need a ventriloquist,” he shot back. “You are lying (to voters) by twisting the truth.”

Emmanuel Macron, left, greets Francois Fillon ahead of the televised debate
Emmanuel Macron, left, greets Francois Fillon ahead of the televised debate CREDIT: AP

Migration and Islam were also flash points. “I want to put an end to legal and illegal immigration,” said Ms Le Pen said, linking it to Islamic fundamentalism and an “explosive” security situation in France.

The debate, which also included Socialist hopeful Benoît Hamon and leftist firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon, covered a wide range of topics, including the economy and foreign policy.  Another six minor candidates were not invited to speak on private channel TF1, to their fury, having to make do with a parallel internet debate.

The consensus was that Mr Macron, who pledges to modernise France with a “neither Left nor Right” approach, had the most to lose.

While favourite, polls suggest millions of French voters remain unsure the former banker’s hands are safe enough to take on what is often dubbed the most powerful job, constitutionally speaking, in the Western world.

A snap poll after the debate by the BFMTV channel showed that 29 per cent of viewers thought that Mr Macron had won, with Mr Mélenchon in second with 20 per cent, Ms Le Pen and Mr Fillon on 19 per cent and Mr Hamon on 11 per cent.

French Presidential Election: Poll results at the link:

Ms Le Pen hopes the debates will break the glass ceiling in polls currently predicting she stands virtually no chance of clinching the presidency.

A Kantar Sofres-Onepoint poll out on Monday put Ms Le Pen level pegging with Mr Macron on 26 per cent in round one, but with him then trouncing her in the run-off on around 60 per cent. However, with half of French voters saying they are still undecided and a third currently intending to abstain, the stakes are high and on-air slips could radically change the pecking order.

Once favourite but now trailing on 17 per cent, Mr Fillon, 63, is desperate to turn the page on the disclosure that he used almost €1  million (£870,000) of taxpayers’ money to employ his wife and children, and suspicions he broke rules on donations by accepting a gift of two suits worth a total of €13,000.

Profile of Marine Le Pen:

He notably hit out at German Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying her management of the migration crisis had caused huge problems for Europe.

“I completely disagree with Emmanuel Macron who praised the German chancellor when he was in Berlin for (refugee) policies that turned out to be bad policies and which are now criticised by her own allies in Germany,” said Mr Fillon.

“The way this crisis was handled has created an enormous problem for Europe,” Mr Fillon added.

On the defensive over sleaze, the Les Républicains candidate insisted his radical plans to slash spending and public sector jobs would save France from ruin.

“I will be the president of national recovery. I will free the French from bureaucracy, from an excess of rules that stop them realising their dreams and block them in their lives. I will put them in place to become the first power in European within 10 years,” he said.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/20/marine-le-pen-accuses-rivals-promoting-project-fear-brexit-looms/

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A picture taken on February 7, 2017 shows the wreckage of a burnt car in one of the main streets of the Cite des 3000 in Aulnay-sous-Bois

The wreckage of a burnt car in Aulnay-sous-Bois after angry French youths clashed with police over the alleged rape of a local man during his arrest. CREDIT:GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT /AFP/GETTY IMAGES 

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 Paris — April 2016 — A protestor kicks a tear gas cannister as demonstrators clash with anti-riot police. Photograph by Joel Saget, AFP, Getty Images
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Paris, March 2016
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French riot police clashing with union members and students demonstrating against labour law reforms, in Paris on March 31, 2016. PHOTO – AFP
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Lockdown: The streets of Paris are being patrolled by soldiers dressed in combat fatigues and carrying Famas assault rifles this afternoon after a terror attack killed 12 people earlier in the day

Orly airport attacker ‘had been drinking, taking drugs’, autopsy reveals — “He never prayed, and he drank.”

March 20, 2017

AFP

© THOMAS SAMSON / AFP | Police officers investigate at the house of the suspect of an attack at the Paris Orly’s airport, on March 18, 2017, in Garges-les-Gonesse.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-03-20

The man shot dead at Paris’s Orly airport after attacking a soldier was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time, a judicial source said Sunday.

Investigators are still trying to understand what motivated Saturday’s assault by 39-year-old Ziyed Ben Belgacem, which led to a major security scare and the temporary closure of the capital’s second-busiest airport.

“Toxicology tests carried out on Sunday showed an alcohol level of 0.93 grams per litre in his blood, and the presence of cannabis and cocaine,” the source said.

Ben Belgacem’s father had insisted earlier Sunday that his son was “not a terrorist” and that his actions were caused by drink and drugs.

Ben Belgacem, who was born in France to Tunisian parents, grabbed a soldier on patrol at Orly’s southern terminal on Saturday morning. He put a gun to her head and seized her rifle, saying he wanted to “die for Allah”.

The attacker, who had also fired at police in a northern Paris suburb earlier that morning, was shot dead by two other soldiers after a scuffle.

Ben Belgacem’s father insisted his son — who had spent time in prison for armed robbery and drug-dealing — was not a extremist.

“My son was not a terrorist. He never prayed, and he drank,” the father, who was in shock and whose first name was not given, told Europe 1 radio.

Investigators were examining his telephone.

The attack at Orly comes with France still on high alert following a wave of jihadist attacks that have claimed more than 230 lives in two years.

The violence has made security a key issue in France’s two-round presidential election on April 23 and May 7.

Not on terror watchlist

Ben Belgacem’s brother and cousin were released Sunday after they, like the attacker’s father, were held for questioning. All three had approached police themselves on Saturday after the attack.

After spending Friday night in a bar with his cousin, Ben Belgacem was pulled over by police for speeding in the gritty northern Paris suburb of Garges-les-Gonesse, where he lived, just before 7:00 am.

He drew a gun and fired, slightly injuring one officer. Shortly after, he contacted his relatives to tell them he had “done something stupid”, they told police.

Ben Belgacem later appeared at the bar where he had been the previous night, firing more shots and stealing another car before continuing on to the airport.

He had been investigated in 2015 over suspicions he had radicalised while serving jail time, but his name did not feature on the list of those thought to pose a high risk.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said Ben Belgacem appeared to have become caught up in a “sort of headlong flight that became more and more destructive”.

Dozens of flights to and from Orly were cancelled during an hours-long shutdown after the incident, but by Sunday afternoon air traffic had returned to normal, a spokeswoman for the Paris airports authority said.

The shooting took place on the second day of a visit to Paris by Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate, which was unaffected.

‘I’ve screwed up’

Ben Belgacem’s father told Europe 1 his son had called him after the first police shooting “in a state of extreme agitation”.

“He said to me: ‘Daddy, please forgive me. I’ve screwed up with a police officer’.”

At the time of his death, Ben Belgacem was carrying a petrol can in his backpack, as well as 750 euros ($805) in cash, a copy of the Koran, a packet of cigarettes and a lighter.

A small amount of cocaine and a machete were found during a search of his home on Saturday.

Soldiers guarding key sites have been targeted in four attacks in the past two years but escaped with only minor injuries.

In mid-February, a machete-wielding Egyptian man attacked a soldier outside Paris’s Louvre museum, injuring him slightly, before being shot and wounded.

President Francois Hollande said Saturday his government was “determined to fight relentlessly against terrorism”.

(AFP)

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French financial prosecutor’s office briefly evacuated

March 20, 2017

Reuters

Match 20, 2017

French police stand in front of the French financial prosecutor's offices following a bomb alert in central Paris, France, March 20, 2017.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

French gendarmes stand in front of the French financial prosecutor’s offices following a bomb alert in central Paris. March 20, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) – The French financial prosecutor’s offices in central Paris were briefly evacuated on Monday due to a bomb alert.

The alert prompted by an anonymous telephone call was lifted after a police search of the premises that took about 90 minutes.

The financial prosecutor’s office has been at the center of a number of high-profile cases in recent weeks, including investigations into allegations of financial wrongdoing by leading presidential candidates Marine Le Pen and Francois Fillon.

(Reporting by Gerard Bon, Writing by Brian Love; Editing by John Irish)

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Paris police search financial prosecutor’s HQ after threat

ANGELA CHARLTON
Associated PressMarch 20, 2017

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PARIS (AP) — Paris police searched the headquarters of the national financial prosecutor after a phone-in bomb threat but found no explosives.

A Paris police official says employees are being allowed to return to the building after explosives experts combed the site following the threat Monday. The prosecutor’s office is in central Paris, near the Garnier Paris opera house.

The official, who wasn’t authorized to be publicly named, says that empty bomb threats are a frequent occurrence in the French capital.

France remains under a state of emergency after a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks.

Paris Attacker Shot At Police on Saturday Morning in Paris, Died In Orly Airport Shooting Hours Later — Radicalized Muslim known to intelligence services

March 18, 2017

PARIS — The man who was shot dead by soldiers at Orly airport on Saturday was the same individual who had shot at security services earlier in the morning in northern Paris and was a radicalized Muslim known to authorities, a police source said.

“A police road check took place in Stains (northern Paris) this morning at 0700. It turned bad and the individual shot at the officers before fleeing,” one police source said.

“This same man – a radicalized Muslim known to intelligence services and the justice system – then took a Famas (assault weapon) from a soldier at Orly’s southern terminal … before being shot dead by a soldier.”

A second police source said the two incidents were linked.

(Reporting by Emmanuel Jarry; Writing by John Irish; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Armed: Three gunmen who attacked the offices of controversial magazine Charlie Hebdo this morning remain on the run this afternoon, causing authorities to heighten security

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Lockdown: The streets of Paris are being patrolled by soldiers dressed in combat fatigues and carrying Famas assault rifles this afternoon after a terror attack killed 12 people earlier in the day

Orly shooting: ‘radicalised Muslim’ killed at Paris airport had shot police officer

March 18, 2017

The Guardian

Police sources say man killed by soldier was earlier involved in incident north of French capital in which policeman was shot and injured

A man said to be a radicalised Muslim known to security services shot a police officer north of Paris before going to Orly airport, where he was shot and killed on Saturday morning.

The man was shot after he tried to grab a soldier’s weapon at the airport, interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.

“A man took a weapon from a soldier then hid in a shop in the airport before being shot dead by security forces,” he said.

The soldier was part of the Sentinel special force installed around France to protect sensitive sites after a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks.

Police sources said the same man was also involved in the incident at Stains, north of the French capital, in which a policeman was shot and injured during a road check.

No explosive devices were found on the dead man’s body, Brandet said.

© AFP | French special forces secure the area after a man was shot dead at Paris’ Orly airport, on March 18, 2017

Police evacuated both terminals at Orly and all flights have been suspended, with some diverted to Charles de Gaulle airport. Travellers have been told to avoid the airport while the security operation was under way. Some passengers whose flights had already landed were being held on board.

A witness, Franck Lecam, said: “We had queued up to check in for the Tel Aviv flight when we heard three or four shots nearby. We are all outside the airport, about 200 metres from the entrance.

“There are policemen, emergency workers and soldiers everywhere in all directions. A security official told us that it happened near gates 37-38 where Turkish Airlines flights were scheduled.”

No one else was injured in the Orly incident.

The French interior minister, Bruno Le Roux, is due to visit the airport, south of Paris, later.

The aiport shooting follows after a similar incident last month at the Louvre museum in central Paris.

France remains under a state of emergency in the wake of the attack on the Bataclan music venue in November 2015 in which 90 people were killed by jihadi gunmen, and the Nice truck attack last July that claimed the lives of 84 people and injured hundreds more.

Read the rest:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/18/man-shot-dead-at-paris-airport-after-trying-to-grab-gun-reports-say

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Man shot dead at Paris Orly airport after taking soldier’s gun: official

March 18, 2017

AFP

© AFP | French special forces secure the area after a man was shot dead at Paris’ Orly airport, on March 18, 2017

PARIS (AFP) – Security forces at Paris’ Orly airport on Saturday shot dead a man who took a weapon from a soldier, the interior ministry said, adding that nobody else was hurt in the incident.Witnesses said the airport was evacuated following the shooting at around 8:30am (0730GMT).

“A man took a weapon from a soldier then hid in a shop in the airport before being shot dead by security forces,” an interior ministry spokesman told AFP.

He said no one was wounded in the incident.

Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux is due to visit the facility, which is in Paris’ southern outskirts, the spokesman added.

“We had queued up to check in for the Tel Aviv flight when we heard three or four shots nearby,” witness Franck Lecam said.

“The whole airport has been evacuated,” the 54-year-old said, confirming what an airport worker, speaking on condition of anonymity, had said earlier.

“We are all outside the airport, about 200 metres from the entrance,” Lecam said.

“There are policemen, emergency workers and soldiers everywhere in all directions. A security official told us that it happened near gates 37-38 where Turkish Airlines flights were scheduled.”

Related:

A picture taken on February 7, 2017 shows the wreckage of a burnt car in one of the main streets of the Cite des 3000 in Aulnay-sous-Bois

The wreckage of a burnt car in Aulnay-sous-Bois after angry French youths clashed with police over the alleged rape of a local man during his arrest. CREDIT:GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT /AFP/GETTY IMAGES 

The area around the Louvre museum in Paris has been evacuated after a huge security operation was launched this morning

The area around the Louvre museum in Paris was evacuated after a huge security operation was launched

ATTACK AT THE LOUVRE: Machete-wielding man shouting ‘Allahu akbar’ stopped by soldier, police say
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/02/03/shooting-at-louvre-french-soldier-reportedly-opens-fire-during-security-scare.html

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 Paris — April 2016 — A protestor kicks a tear gas cannister as demonstrators clash with anti-riot police. Photograph by Joel Saget, AFP, Getty Images
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Soldiers protecting Notre Dame in Paris

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FRANCE COULD BE READY TO LIFT STATE OF EMERGENCY, SAYS JUSTICE MINISTER

France may be ready to drop its state of emergency, which has been in place since the deadly extremist attacks on Paris in November 2015.

In a speech Wednesday, Minister of Justice Jean-Jacques Urvoas said: “We have created the conditions that make it possible to exit the state of emergency, without weakening ourselves or remaining helpless in the face of the threat of terrorism,” French daily newspaper Le Figaroreports.

The state of emergency has dramatically increased the number and visibility of armed law enforcement officials on patrol across the country and tightened the laws on public assembly.

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting, flower, plant, shoes, table and child

Its implementation proved controversial, with increased raids on Muslim communities in the immediate aftermath of the attacks attracting particular criticism from human rights groups.

Urvoas did not give any final date for returning to a lower state of alert, however it has to be approved on a bi-annual basis. The current extension ends in July – two months after France’s upcoming presidential election.

Paris Orly airport: Man killed after attempt to seize soldier’s gun — Hours after Minister of Justice proposes lifting “State of Emergency”

March 18, 2017

A man has been shot dead after trying to seize a gun from a soldier at Orly airport, French police say. Security officials have evacuated the building and urged visitors to avoid the area.

Image may contain: outdoor

French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said the man ran into a shop inside the airport before he was shot dead on Saturday morning.

A bomb sweep was underway at the site to make sure the individual was not wearing an explosive belt, Brandet added.

The ministry also reported that a police officer was shot and injured in a separate incident north of Paris.

Emergency vehicles surrounded Orly airport as the elite RAID special police force secured the area.

Security officials evacuated part of the building and urged the public to keep clear while the police operation was underway.

[] On going police operation. Please respect the safety perimeter and avoid the airport area.

“We were waiting in line to board the flight to Tel Aviv when we heard three or four gunshots nearby,” witness Franck Lecam told AFP. “The whole airport was evacuated.”

A national police official said the soldier accosted by the slain man was part of the Sentinel special force installed around France to protect sensitive sites after a series of deadly terror attacks.

The man’s motive wasn’t immediately clear. No one else was reported to have been harmed in the incident.

Minister of the Interior Bruno Le Roux was on his way to the airport, his office reported.

France remains under a state of emergency after several recent terror attacks. In November 2015 multiple terrorists killed 130 people in simultaneous attacks in Paris. In July 2016, an attacker drove a truck through crowds in Nice celebrating Bastille Day, killing 86 people.

Orly airport is south of Paris and is the French capital’s second-largest airport after Charles de Gaulle.

nm/rc (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

http://www.dw.com/en/paris-orly-airport-man-killed-after-attempt-to-seize-soldiers-gun/a-38006216

Related:

A picture taken on February 7, 2017 shows the wreckage of a burnt car in one of the main streets of the Cite des 3000 in Aulnay-sous-Bois

The wreckage of a burnt car in Aulnay-sous-Bois after angry French youths clashed with police over the alleged rape of a local man during his arrest. CREDIT:GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT /AFP/GETTY IMAGES 

The area around the Louvre museum in Paris has been evacuated after a huge security operation was launched this morning

The area around the Louvre museum in Paris was evacuated after a huge security operation was launched

ATTACK AT THE LOUVRE: Machete-wielding man shouting ‘Allahu akbar’ stopped by soldier, police say
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/02/03/shooting-at-louvre-french-soldier-reportedly-opens-fire-during-security-scare.html

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 Paris — April 2016 — A protestor kicks a tear gas cannister as demonstrators clash with anti-riot police. Photograph by Joel Saget, AFP, Getty Images
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Soldiers protecting Notre Dame in Paris

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FRANCE COULD BE READY TO LIFT STATE OF EMERGENCY, SAYS JUSTICE MINISTER

France may be ready to drop its state of emergency, which has been in place since the deadly extremist attacks on Paris in November 2015.

In a speech Wednesday, Minister of Justice Jean-Jacques Urvoas said: “We have created the conditions that make it possible to exit the state of emergency, without weakening ourselves or remaining helpless in the face of the threat of terrorism,” French daily newspaper Le Figaroreports.

The state of emergency has dramatically increased the number and visibility of armed law enforcement officials on patrol across the country and tightened the laws on public assembly.

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Its implementation proved controversial, with increased raids on Muslim communities in the immediate aftermath of the attacks attracting particular criticism from human rights groups.

Urvoas did not give any final date for returning to a lower state of alert, however it has to be approved on a bi-annual basis. The current extension ends in July – two months after France’s upcoming presidential election.