Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: XOSE BOUZAS / HANS LUCAS / HANS LUCAS VIA AFP 21:35 p.m., December 06, 2023

Four days after a terrorist knife attack in Paris on Saturday, Elisabeth Borne gave an interview to the newspaper "Le Figaro". The Prime Minister said she was ready to mobilise more resources to ensure the protection of the French people. She also addressed the subject of immigration law and economic issues.

"If necessary, we will go even further": Elisabeth Borne says she is ready to put more resources to protect the French after the knife attack committed on Saturday, in an interview with Le Figaro published online on Wednesday, with very regal overtones. "Every country in the world is exposed to risks that need to be avoided. We are mobilising resources for these (Paris) Olympic Games and we will mobilise more if necessary," the prime minister said, four days after a fatal knife attack in Paris on Saturday, which put the executive under pressure in the face of the jihadist threat.

"With the programming laws recently passed, the budgets of the Ministries of the Interior, Justice and the Armed Forces have been further strengthened. If necessary, we will go even further," she adds. In particular, the head of government suggested that individuals like the attacker on Saturday, known to the intelligence services for his radical Islamism and psychiatric disorders, could be the subject of "even more sustained attention". "It is true that a significant number of people are being monitored for radicalisation and terrorism. There are people who are being treated as part of psychiatry. At the intersection of the two, you may have individuals who demand even more attention," she says.

Borne awaits proposals from Aurélien Rousseau

While her Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin had pointed to a "failure" in the psychiatric follow-up of the alleged perpetrator of the attack, Elisabeth Borne considers that "it is all the links in the chain that must be examined". An investigating judge on Wednesday indicted French-Iranian Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab, suspected of being the perpetrator of the fatal knife attack perpetrated on Saturday night near the Eiffel Tower, his lawyer told AFP. The 26-year-old said he had acted in "reaction to the persecution of Muslims around the world", while the government had said it feared that the conflict in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas would be imported into France.


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The attack came less than two months after the one in Arras in the Pas-de-Calais region that claimed the life of a teacher in mid-October and led to the raising of the Vigipirate plan to the maximum level of "emergency attack". And eight months before the 2024 Olympic Games next summer, when 15 million spectators will be expected in the Paris region. On the very sensitive immigration bill, another sovereign issue led by her Minister of the Interior, who was once her rival for Matignon, Elisabeth Borne says she has "confidence" in Gérald Darmanin to find a majority in the National Assembly.

But she also says she is waiting for "proposals" from her and Health Minister Adrien Rousseau to possibly adapt the AME, the state medical aid for undocumented foreigners, which was called into question by the Senate during the debate on this bill. In this context, it also states that a renegotiation of a Franco-Algerian agreement of 1968, which confers a favourable status on Algerians for their conditions of movement, residence and employment in France, is on the "agenda". The right wing and members of the majority want it to be called into question, judging this treaty to be too favourable to Algerians in terms of immigration.

"Carrying out reforms"

On the economic front, it does not take up the proposal of its Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire to reduce the duration of unemployment benefits for those over 55 years old. "My first concern is that older people stay in employment," she said, suggesting "extending" phased retirement. But like him, she wants to continue to "carry out reforms", specifying that "the legislative calendar for the coming months will be guided by the assertion of authority, the search for full employment, the issues of energy and housing, the transformation of our agriculture, the effectiveness of public action".

While several of her ministers are already sharpening their teeth for the 2027 presidential election, she explains that in her position "we do not comment on the hypothetical ambitions of one or the other". "We must continue to devote our energy to carrying out the following reforms. That's what I expect from all ministers."