False promises! Macron savaged by rival Le Pen over vote-grabbing policing pledge

Macron will win French election due to split opposition says Lees

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The French leader on Monday spoke of what his government has achieved in security matters during his five-year term. He also looked at the future. Outlining a desire to “build our 21st-century security” and to “double the number of police officers on the ground by 2030”, Mr Macron hinted at his intention to run for election in April, which he has not yet officially announced. Ms Le Pen, among a host of other political figures, has slammed the president’s words.

During a visit to Nice, Mr Macron said: “Today, our police and gendarmes handle many tasks that don’t make a difference in your daily lives — guards for public buildings and for hospitalised people in custody, officers at court hearings — which prevent them from patrolling in neighbourhoods.

“We’ll free them up from these tasks, by handing these tasks to administrative personnel, or through private or contract partnerships.

“This will allow us to free up the equivalent of 3,500 police and gendarmes.”

Speaking of the past, he claimed: “We have over the last five years … reinvested in our security.”

Ahead of April’s disputed presidential election, security has become a major topic in candidates’ campaigns.

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Addressing Mr Macron’s policing pledge, Ms Le Pen, the far-right candidate for Rassemblement National or National Rally party, asked: “Why wait so long to deploy them when insecurity is exploding in our country?”

She added: “According to the border police officers I met yesterday, the migratory pressure has never been so strong as in 2021: the situation is out of control!

“Don’t believe Macron’s false promises. In three months, it’s the presidential election. If the French trust me, I will put France back in order and I will give the necessary means to our police and gendarmes to do their job.”

MEP Helene Laporte, from the same party, was just as direct. She said: “According to Macron, we must double the number of police officers on the ground by 2030…

“What has he done in the last 5 years as President of the Republic? The security of French people cannot and should not wait.”

Along similar lines, Nicolas Meizonnet, of the National Assembly and the National Rally, added: “Despite a catastrophic security record, Macron allows himself to make promises after having done absolutely nothing for 5 years!

“Yes, we need more police officers, but to restore security we must first stop the migratory invasion.”

Migration is at the centre stage of discussions in the EU, and France is leading the conversation.

Just as the rotation for its six-month presidency of the EU council of ministers has started, the French government has announced it is to negotiate an asylum and migration agreement between the bloc and the UK.

The idea, as confirmed by a senior French government official, is to create a legal and reciprocal means of immigration between the two sides so that people “can legally go to Great Britain to seek asylum”.

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Adding “obviously that means reciprocity”, they suggested British authorities could send people denied asylum back to the EU country in which they had initially arrived.

The source told The Guardian: “The idea is to have a zero balance at the end of the day.”

They insisted this is “a very important European question, not just a French question”.

In his speech, Mr Macron highlighted the actions carried out since 2017 in the context of terrorism and drug trafficking.

He promised to set up a “republican action force” to dismantle the main drug dealing points in sensitive areas.

The President of the Republic also shared his focus on battling the issue of gender violence, announcing he intended to triple the fine for street harassment to 300 euros.

Mr Macron claimed: “I want to show you my determination to work towards this peaceful life to which our compatriots are entitled.

“We are not there yet; the road is long, but our duty and our vocation are to continue to improve things tirelessly.”

But Ms Le Pen does not believe him. She warned: “Like N. Sarkozy and then F. Hollande, E. Macron will worsen insecurity.”

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