Romina McGuinness, Express, March 2, 2017
The French presidential hopeful said he would not strip convicted terrorists with dual nationality of their French passports if voted into power.
The centrist candidate unveiled his manifesto for the presidency on Thursday, with weeks before the first round of voting in April.
He said: “I would not strip citizens convicted of terrorist offences of their French nationality.
“Doing so would not help combat the terrorist threat and would divide the country.”
The head of the political movement En Marche!, or Forward!, made the comments during an interview with French daily Le Parisien.
Mr Macron added that he would “not impose a string of tighter security measures” because the outgoing Socialist government had “already taken all the necessary measures to protect France from terrorism,” before adding that he would “let counter-terrorism officials decide whether the state of emergency should be lifted or maintained”.
The centrist candidate also took a thinly veiled swipe at scandal-embroiled François Fillon, his closest rival, and said that, if elected president, he would implement new anti-nepotism laws to “ban members of parliament from using public money to hire their spouses or other relations”.
The right-wing candidate, whose campaign is currently in tatters, faces trial on fraud charges after it was claimed in January that he had paid his British-born wife, Penelope, hundreds of thousands of euros in taxpayers’ money for a ‘fictitious’ job as his parliamentary assistant.
Mr Macron also told Le Parisien that he would ban mobile phones from primary and secondary schools to force pupils to concentrate and pay attention in class, before adding that 20 per cent of French 10-year-olds did not know how to “read, count or write properly”.
The pro-EU candidate added that he wanted to help youths from “sensitive” urban zones – millions of which are born to immigrant parents – integrate into society by teaching them the “values of the French Republic”.
Mr Macron, who has positioned himself as a defender of France’s secular laws, also said that he would “not stop Muslim university students from wearing the Islamic headscarf in class”.