More innocent people will die, says French PM
REUTERS photoFrance is doing all it can to prevent terrorist attacks but there will be more of them, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on June 15 following the latest attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the country.
“We need to tighten the net and give police and intelligence services all the means they need, but we will witness further attacks,” he said. “More innocents will lose their lives.”
On June 13, a police chief in a town northwest of Paris was stabbed to death by a man who had pledged allegiance to ISIL.
The man subsequently forced his way into policeman’s home, taking the man’s wife and 3-year-old son hostage. The woman was found dead when law enforcement officers gained entry to the house, although the boy was found physically unharmed.
The government has called the killing a terrorist attack, and Valls said there would be inevitably be more deaths. The ISIL-inspired attack follows a more dramatic assault in the middle of November 2015 when jihadists tied to the group went on a rampage at sites throughout Paris, killing over 120 people.
Meanwhile, Valls also urged the hardline CGT union to stop organizing mass rallies in Paris against a contested labor reform after fresh clashes between masked youths and riot police at a demonstration.
On the sidelines of a CGT-led march on June 14, gangs of black-clad youths hurled makeshift firebombs at police and broke windows, including at a Paris’ main children’s hospital.
“When you cannot organize a demonstration and take responsibility, leaving thugs in the middle of the march ... then you don’t organize this sort of demonstration that can degenerate [into violence],” Valls said on France Inter radio.
Police fired dozens of rounds of teargas and used water cannon to disperse the groups of youths during the rally, which police said had a turnout of 75,000-80,000 in Paris alone, roughly three times more than at recent big demonstrations.
The Paris police department reported 58 arrests, including many foreigners, with 24 police and 17 protesters injured.
“We cannot have a general ban [on demonstrations], but we will take our responsibilities. We can no longer have this disgraceful show with things getting out of control,” Valls said before visiting the Necker children’s hospitable to inspect the damage.
Despite the latest violence, Valls repeated his refusal to back down on the reform to make hiring and firing easier, saying the bill had already been watered down to take into account more moderate unions views.
Backed by smaller militant unions, the CGT is battling to be France’s top union with the CFDT, which supports the reform that would also devolve the setting of pay and working conditions to the company level.