Paris (AFP)

Crushed by the twists and turns of the health crisis, the debate on the controversial anti-separatism bill comes to an end on Friday with a final vote by the National Assembly which is worth final adoption.

After five months of back and forth between Palais Bourbon and the Senate, the text "respect for the principles of the Republic", presented as a remedy for "the Islamist takeover bid", will be adopted by Parliament in the wake of the bill " prevention of acts of terrorism and intelligence ".

The latter provides for the perpetuation in common law of mechanisms resulting from the state of emergency experienced since 2017 via the law "internal security and the fight against terrorism" (Silt).

For the government, the two sovereign texts are articulated like a double blade in the face of the "threat".

New "freedom-killing laws" which participate in "the security runaway", strongly denounce the defenders of public freedoms.

The bill against separatism contains a battery of measures on the neutrality of the public service, the fight against online hatred, the protection of civil servants and teachers, the supervision of family education, the reinforced control of associations , better transparency of cults and their financing, and even the fight against virginity certificates, polygamy or forced marriages.

Supported by Minister Gérald Darmanin, it was fairly widely adopted at first (347 votes in favor, 151 against and 65 abstentions), then at second reading (23 votes in favor, 14 against and two abstentions) in the Assembly where the Majority deputies had refocused a text strongly righted by the Senate with measures against the wearing of the veil or strengthening "neutrality" at the university.

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Senators also relaxed the rules for home education.

The final exchange at the Upper Assembly dominated by the right-wing opposition ended on Tuesday with the adoption of a motion to reject the rapporteurs Jacqueline Eustache-Brinio (LR) and Dominique Vérien (centrist), by 205 votes against 115.

The rapporteurs regretted that "the majority of the deputies do not intend to find with the Senate the means to progress on the serious subjects which are the neutrality of the State, secularism and living together".

General rapporteur of the bill to the Assembly, Florent Boudié (LREM) had denounced him "the pathological obsession" of senators on the sensitive issue of the veil.

- Tensions Paris / Ankara -

At the Palais Bourbon, the oppositions LFI, PCF, PS and LR will vote against the adoption of the text.

The UDI will vote in majority for, like the three groups of the majority block, LREM and its partners Modem and Agir.

Without proposing a revolution, the "principles of the Republic" bill attacks in small steps the balances of the law of 1905, the freedoms of worship, association and education.

Civil society, associations, certain cults: discontents have multiplied but are never aggregated.

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In the hemicycle, the right artillery on the Islamic veil when LFI castigated an "anti-Muslim" text.

But the blood and tears promised to the government and the majority did not finally arrive.

They can thank the political leadership of the majority leaders but also the vagaries of the health crisis which relegated the debates to the background.

For its final adoption, delayed by 24 hours due to the new anti-Covid bill, the text is still eclipsed by the health pass and the explosion of contaminations linked to the delta variant.

However, this bill has come under heavy attack from certain Islamist leaders and movements around the world, in particular Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Turkey, causing months of tension between Paris amid other geopolitical friction. and Ankara.

© 2021 AFP

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