French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, has warned that France is “at war”, and faces the threat of terrorism for “several years.” Mr Valls, who was appointed to his position in March of 2014, was talking to defence officials, diplomats and journalists on Saturday, and said France and the world had entered a “new era.”
The 53-year-old former interior minister is seen as pivotal in the move to drive through tougher anti-terrorism and security measures at home. Unflinching in his language, Valls has joined President Francois Hollande in the call to destroy Islamic State (Isis) completely.
Emergency measures have been in place in France, where police can act without judicial oversight in matters deemed of grave threat of terrorism.
Under the temporary “state of emergency” laws, officers can search houses without warrants. The French authorities have used the legislation to explore almost 1300 properties in the aftermath of the 2015 attacks.
Calling for sincerity towards his citizens – and those of other countries – the French PM gave the grim warning there would be “other assaults, major attacks” in the future.
On 13th November of last year, a group of terrorists struck at the heart of France, launching several co-ordinated attacks against civilians in Paris. 130 people were killed in the attacks, an outrage which prompted shock and grief across Europe, and the world.
The national Stade de France stadium, where President Hollande was watching a friendly international between France and Germany, was the scene of a terrorist bombing.
Last month Islamic State released a video showing the Paris attackers preparing for the outrage and boasting about London being “next.’’
Valls said nations should marshal forces against Islamic State, but also that the bombing of civilians should cease. Many see France as a much-divided country. The National Front, headed by Marine Le Pen, remains an influential force in local politics, pulling off a win in the opening rounds of regional elections in the weeks after the attacks.