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Francois Hollande invokes French terrorism threat, defends citizens' passport-stripping

Paris: France is "not finished with terrorism", says President Francois Hollande, who has used a New Year's message to defend controversial plans to strip citizenship from those convicted of terrorism offences.

"The threat is still there," he said in a televised address. "It remains in fact at its highest level, and we are regularly disrupting planned attacks."

French President Francois Hollande in Paris last week.
French President Francois Hollande in Paris last week. Photo: Bloomberg

The French leader defended proposed constitutional changes to support a crackdown on militants following November's deadly Islamist attacks in Paris, which killed 130 people.

Under the plans, French-born dual passport holders could be stripped of their nationality – a sanction currently applicable only to naturalised citizens.

Tributes at Place de la Republique in Paris,  on Saturday, November 14.
Tributes at Place de la Republique in Paris, on Saturday, November 14. Photo: Bloomberg

The proposals, yet to go before the French National Assembly and Senate, have divided Mr Hollande's ruling Socialists and drawn veiled criticism from his Justice Minister, Christiane Taubira.

"I made a choice in good conscience that was proportionate to what France has suffered," Mr Hollande said.

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"The debate is legitimate and I respect it," he said, while adding: "Where your protection is concerned, France must remain united and make the right decisions."

Reuters

French President Francois Hollande talks with Claude Emmanuel Triomphe, who was injured in the Paris attacks.
French President Francois Hollande talks with Claude Emmanuel Triomphe, who was injured in the Paris attacks. Photo: AP

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