Senior politicians in France have begun questioning the country’s anti terror strategy, hours after a man driving a truck killed 84 people in France’s third major terrorist attack in 18 months.
Alain Juppé, a former Prime Minister who is now mayor of Bordeaux, was among the first to voice criticism of President François Hollande’s government in the wake of the attack.
“If all measures had been taken, the Nice attack would not have taken place,” he said in an interview with local radio, saying that “flaws and shortcomings” still existed in national security strategy. “It is imperative that government intervene in that area to better coordinate our intelligence services.”
Juppé, an unpopular figure during his time in office, has seen a popular resurgence in recent months and is the center-right’s leading candidate for next year’s presidential elections. He is considered the favorite to unseat Hollande.
Former Nice mayor Christian Estrosi, who hails from the same Les Republicains party as Juppé, also raised the question of whether more could have been done.
“How is it possible in our country that, after everyone said there was a state of emergency, a state of war, we forgot it after Charlie Hebdo, and then there was the Bataclan,” he said on local radio, the New York Times reports. “After the Bataclan, we forgot, and then there was Brussels. After Brussels, we forgot and there was Nice … there are questions that need to be answered.”
France has been under a state of emergency ever since November’s attacks in Paris, and Hollande’s government has deployed thousands of soldiers to protect sensitive sites across the country.
On Thursday, Hollande suggested the state of emergency might be lifted after July 26. Today, he said it would be extended for another three months.