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French minister slams mayors over lax security

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-16

French Industry Minister Christian Estrosi (pictured) has slammed French mayors for shirking responsibility and called for fines against municipalities that fail to take strong security measures to prevent crime.

REUTERS - Local mayors who fail to meet their obligations concerning security and crime prevention should face heavy fines, French Industry Minister Christian Estrosi said in a newspaper interview.
 
"Mayors need to measure their own share of responsibility ... They do not have the right to get themselves off the hook by saying it's the state's affair," Estrosi, who is also mayor of the southern city of Nice, told Le Journal du Dimanche.
 
"Municipalities that do not meet their obligations on security, crime prevention, truancy and urban development reform should pay a very heavy fine."
 
Hitting out at left-wing critics of President Nicolas Sarkozy's plans to crack down on crime, which include stripping some criminals of their French nationality, Estrosi said some mayors were shirking their responsibility.
 
"Why does Martine Aubry (Socialist party leader and mayor of Lille) not want surveillance cameras in her city? ... (Why) does the mayor of Grenoble do nothing to secure his area and complain that everything is blowing up?" he said.

Grenoble, where Sarkozy unveiled his plans, was rocked by riots in mid-July after authorities there killed an armed robber on the run. The city's left-wing mayor, Michel Destot, has criticised Sarkozy for "stigmatising" immigrants.
 
Responding to Estrosi's comments on Europe 1 radio, Destot said they were "a form of diversion" and primary responsibility lay with the state.

Date created : 2010-08-16

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