NICE, France ( Associated Press) – French President Emmanuel Macron traveled to his country’s Mediterranean coast on Monday to talk about internal security, leading to a pit stop in the city where an extremist attacked Bastille Day in 2016. A cargo truck was rammed into the crowd, killing 86 people. and hundreds injured.
Macron has not yet officially confirmed That he is running for a second term in France’s presidential election on April 10, but his visit to the French Riviera city of Nice was more of a campaign hit because it is a stronghold of French conservatives and right-wing supporters.
Conservative Republican presidential candidate Valerie Pecras is seen by many as the centrist Macron’s most important opponent.,
Macron met with law enforcement, the judiciary and city officials, examining the progress of security-related projects in 2017 when he was elected.
The town hall meeting with dozens of law enforcement officers and local lawmakers sitting in a courtyard took place in the former St. Roch Hospital, a 19th-century building in the heart of Old Nice. During his address, Macron symbolically laid the foundation stone for a state-funded police complex at the former hospital, which still bears signs for medical wards.
Still, in the 90-minute exchange, Macron hardly mentions the current coronavirus pandemic fueled by the fast-spreading Omicron variant. He replaced his mantra of previous months — “vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate” — with a new phrase: “protect, protect, protect.”
“We have invested heavily in our security forces to ensure the safety of our citizens,” Macron said.
“People have the right to live in peace every day, but there is much more to do,” Macron said, citing the need to curb gang violence, domestic violence, drug trafficking and sexual violence.
By 2025, St. Roch will become a massive police station, where more than 2,000 national and municipal officers will work together with state-of-the-art technology, including video surveillance. Work is expected to start next year.
Macron’s push to tackle security issues at the heart of the French conservative political landscape appears as an attempt to counter criticism from the president’s challengers, including the right- and far-right promoting a tighter line on security issues. Contains candidates.
In September, Macron announced measures to make police operations more transparent, Publishing internal investigation reports and creating a parliamentary oversight body to reduce public confidence in police scams.
Rights organizations have repeatedly criticized police brutality in France, particularly against members of the country’s racial, ethnic and religious minorities. Like the United States, France has seen protests over allegations of racism, injustice and impunity. When it comes to violence from law enforcement.
Macron said part of the solution is to put more police on the streets and on public transport, especially to tackle violence against women.
“It is there that women are most vulnerable and we need to do everything we can to protect them,” Macron said, vowing to double the number of officers dealing with domestic violence to 4,000 total.
He called for more training for French police to deal with victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse and assault, and detailed the enforcement of a controversial law to tackle Islamic fundamentalism.
Despite Macron’s government’s efforts to tackle domestic murders, three women were found dead on New Year’s Day across France, allegedly by their associates.
In the French presidential race, Pecrese, a former minister and a government spokesman, is the first woman to become a Republican nominee for president. Pecras, known to be pro-European, has toughened her positions on immigration and security in recent months to appeal to more right-wing voters.
Two far-right contenders – Marine Le Pen, the head of the National Rally party who lost the 2017 presidency to Macron, and former TV pundit Eric Zemour – accuse Macron of campaigning on anti-Islamic, anti-migrant themes. are. soft on guilt and guilt
On the left, Paris mayor Anne Hidago of the Socialist Party and European MP of the Greens Yannick Jadot are running, as well as the far-left leader of the rebel France party, Jean-Lou Mélenchon, who is seeking the presidency for a third time.