France at risk of 'décivilisation', Macron tells cabinet meeting

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© Kenzo Tribouillard, AFP

French President Emmanuel Macron told ministers at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday that the country is seeing a trend towards "décivilisation", government sources said. Macron's remarks followed the deaths of a nurse and three policemen in the past week as well as a fatal shooting in Marseille.

"We must be uncompromising on the fundamentals," Macron told ministers at a cabinet meeting. "There is no such thing as 'legitimate' violence, whether it be verbal or [physically] targeting people."

"We must work tirelessly to counteract this process of décivilisation," he said in comments first reported by the daily "Le Parisien" and confirmed to AFP by a person present.

While violent crime remains relatively rare in France, a particularly violent week prompted Macron to cancel a trip to the south of France to take part in a memorial for three policemen killed in a car crash Sunday when a man under the influence drove the wrong way.

During a tribute to the police officers on Thursday in Roubaix, Macron called for respecting those who "risk their lives" for others, denouncing "irresponsible behavior that kills".

French media was awash in headlines deconstructing his usage of the term on Thursday.

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