France sets date to vote ‘genocide’ bill
This file photo shows French Senate which is expected to discuss the bill penalizing denial of 1915 incidents as genocide between Jan 23 and 31. AFP photoPresidential Board of French Senate will take the bill penalizing denial of 1915 incidents as genocide into its agenda on Jan. 10. Then it will proceed to the Constitution Commission who will decide whether the bill complies with the constitution, daily Hürriyet reported yesterday.
The commission will subsequently send the bill back to the Senate. As the French Senate’s agenda is full until Jan. 22, the bill is expected to be debated between Jan. 23 and 31. France already recognized the 1915 incident as “genocide” back in 2001, but the new bill would punish anyone who denies this with a year in jail and a fine of 45,000 euros ($60,000). The French Lower House approved the law Dec. 22, 2011, threatening jail to anyone who denies killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turk forces amounted to “genocide.” Meanwhile, Turkey may intensify its retaliation against France if the French Senate votes the bill this month, a Turkish diplomatic source said yesterday. “There may be a downgrading of the Turkish diplomatic representation in Paris,” the source told Agence France-Presse yesterday. If the French Senate approves the bill criminalizing denial of the disputed 1915 genocide, “it is probable.” Meanwhile, France’s presidential contest got personal Jan. 4 after Socialist challenger Francois Hollande branded Nicolas Sarkozy a “nasty piece of work.” Le Parisien article said Hollande spoke of Sarkozy as a “failed president” and a “sale mec,” a French term that roughly translates as “nasty piece of work” or “nasty guy.”