France unrest: PM says ‘all options’ being considered to restore order

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French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said Friday that the government was considering “all options” to restore order, including declaring a state of emergency, after a third night of unrest across the country.

A state of emergency would give local authorities increased powers to declare localized curfews, ban demonstrations, and give police more freedom in restraining suspected rioters and searching homes.

Asked by reporters if a state of emergency was being considered, as some right-wing opposition parties have demanded, she replied: “I won’t tell you now, but we are looking at all options, with one priority: restoring order throughout the country.”

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Borne, who was visiting a police station in Evry-Courcouronnes south of Paris, is to attend a crisis security meeting chaired by French President Emmanuel Macron at 1:00 pm (1100 GMT) on Friday.

The head of state was said by an aide on Friday to be prepared to adapt security measures “without taboos,” suggesting tougher measures were under consideration.

During the last nationwide urban riots in 2005, the then right-wing government declared a state of emergency after around two weeks of clashes.

“We are calling for a curfew initially, then the imposition of a full state of emergency and the mobilization of all the forces of law and order in the country,” spokesman for the far-right National Rally Sebastien Chenu told the LCI television channel on Friday.

“Right now we’re at the bottom of a cliff and we need to be extremely tough,” he added.

The head of the right-wing Republicans party, Eric Ciotti, called for a state of emergency on Thursday.

“The nation cannot waver in any circumstances,” he said.

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