PRESIDENT Nicolas Sarkozy has threatened to strip the French nationality from foreign-born criminals who use violence against police or public officials.
Struggling in the opinion polls after his Government was implicated in a financial scandal and in the wake of a spate of violent unrest, Mr Sarkozy announced a headline-grabbing package of security measures.
Top of the list, in a week when Mr Sarkozy had already threatened to expel foreign Roma who commit crimes back to Eastern Europe, was a vow to tighten nationality rules for other non-French-born criminals.
“Nationality should be stripped from anyone of foreign origin who deliberately endangers the life of a police officer, a soldier or a gendarme or anyone else holding public authority,” he said.
Speaking in the eastern city of Grenoble, scene in recent weeks of clashes between police and armed rioters, Mr Sarkozy said that foreign minors who commit crimes would henceforth find it harder to get citizenship on coming of age.
And he promised to review the welfare payments made to non-documented immigrants living in France, in a speech made amid renewed accusations that Sarkozy has swerved to the right to distract from his political woes.