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France counterterrorism bill signed into law

Government spokesman Christophe Castaner said the mechanism was a temporary tool to be used under exceptional circumstances, replacing the state of emergency which France had been under since the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris that left 130 dead.

Business surveys have shown a new sense of optimism in the French economy since the election of Emmanuel Macron as president in June, and his government has pushed through a labour reform which it hopes will spur further activity.

Macron said that the new law, which was widely backed by parliament and is to come into force on Wednesday, would be reviewed in two years, reports Efe.

According to the minister, the terrorist threat in France "remains serious".

The new law gives police and other law enforcement officials authority to conduct searches, and more.

Macron stressed the law will allow authorities to establish areas with extra security measures, such as during Christmas markets. It has been extended six times since then.

"Everyone noticed we needed a fair balance between security and freedom, and I believe this text meets this need", Mr Collomb said.

As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany's global broadcaster, police are also allowed to demand identity documents from anyone they deem suspicious at border areas, ports, train stations and airports.

Human rights groups have criticized the bill as establishing a permanent state of emergency that could harm citizens' rights to liberty, security, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion.



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