October 12, 2010
French lawmakers approved a bill to strip foreign-born criminals of their French nationality and expel EU citizens for certain crimes, all part of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s law and order crackdown. Members of the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, passed the measure after a first reading by 294 votes to 239 in a vote overshadowed by mass strikes and demonstrations against Sarkozy’s pensions reforms.
The law would strip French nationality from foreigners who had acquired citizenship and who were convicted of violent crimes against police and other officials. This punishment currently applies only to terrorism charges. It would also allow police to deport foreign nationals, including those from other European Union countries, for repeated acts of theft, aggressive begging or for illegally occupying land.
The bill must be examined by a parliamentary commission before it can be voted into law.