What France’s state of emergency means in practice

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French President François Hollande announced a nationwide state of emergency on Saturday, granting the government exceptional powers in the wake of Friday’s terrorist attacks in and around Paris that left at least 132 people dead. The powers initially last for 12 days, and Hollande announced on Monday he will seek parliamentary approval to prolong it for a period of three months. So just what are the special powers announced on Saturday? Michel de Pracontal explains.

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In France, a state of emergency is an exceptional system which gives the government reinforced powers for the purposes of ensuring security. It can be applied to all or part of the country.