The French police watchdog is being investigated for rigging an investigation into an alleged trafficking ring within the police to discredit policemen close to the Socialist Party.

"/> The French police watchdog is being investigated for rigging an investigation into an alleged trafficking ring within the police to discredit policemen close to the Socialist Party.

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POLICE

French watchdog ‘targeted left-wing police’

The French police watchdog is being investigated for rigging an investigation into an alleged trafficking ring within the police to discredit policemen close to the Socialist Party.

French prosecutors are investigating the police watchdog over suspicions it rigged an investigation into an alleged visa trafficking network within the police, Le Monde reports.

In 2007, four police officials including the Chief Constable Yannick Blanc and his deputy were indicted over allegations they participated in this network. Both were suspended from their duties.

In 2011, French courts dismissed the case against the four officials and investigations were then launched into the police watchdog’s inquiries. They suspect the watchdog of tampering with the minutes of questionings and threatening witnesses.

The four police officials accused of trafficking say the police watchdog invented the case against them because they did not support French President Nicholas Sarkozy or were close to the Socialist Party.

In the run-up to the presidential elections, Yannick Blanc was advising Socialist candidate Ségolène Royal on immigration issues. Another police official was in charge of security for a former Socialist interior minister.

The allegations against the police watchdog could damage Sarkozy, who was interior minister in 2007, and his bid for upcoming presidential elections.

POLITICS

French MPs back €230m aid for households that use wood-burners for heating

Householders in France who heat their homes with wood-burners will soon be in line for financial help with the cost of keeping warm this winter.

French MPs back €230m aid for households that use wood-burners for heating

During a reading of the draft budget, the National Assembly adopted a €230 million aid package for households that use logs or wood pellets for heating.

The aid package – which had support across the Assembly, and the backing of the government – is modelled on an already existing policy to help the owners of properties that use oil-fired heating systems.

From December 22nd, households heating with wood will be able to apply for a “wood energy voucher” on the cheque energie website. Aid is means-tested, but those eligible will be able to claim between €50 to €200 to help with the cost of heating their homes.

The amendment was passed with 218 votes in favour and just one against.

According to the Agence de la transition écologique (Ademe), wood is the main source of heating for more than three million people in France. 

The price of wood-pellets used in household burners has doubled since the beginning of 2021, leaving many households struggling with the cost of fuel. 

Minister of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal also told MPs that the government was working on ways to reduce ‘profiteering’ from the rising cost of firewood, and said that officials would “not hesitate to crack down” on any cases of fraud.

READ ALSO What are the rules on fires and log-burners in France?

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