France extends state of emergency for Euro 2016, Tour de France

Wednesday, 11 May 2016 00:19 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

AFP: France's parliament voted on Tuesday to extend a state of emergency in place since November's jihadist attacks to the end of July to cover the Euro 2016 football tournament and Tour de France.

The upper house Senate approved the measure by a large majority, with 309 in favour and only 30 against, mostly from the communist and ecologist parties.

The emergency was imposed following the 13 November attacks that left 130 people dead in the French capital, and was already extended by three months in February until 26 May.

It allows police to hold people under house arrest whose behaviour is considered "a threat to security and public order".

But under the latest extension, police will no longer have the power to raid homes without a court order, as they have since November.

Such raids "no longer present the same operational interest, since most of the identified locations have already been subject to investigation," said Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

He stressed that the precautions could not fully erase the threat.

"The security challenges will be even more complex as we prepare to welcome a very large number of foreign visitors for Euro 2016," Cazeneuve added.

The French Human Rights League (LDH) has criticised the extension, saying the government was becoming "hooked on the state of emergency".