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Protection stepped up for Green candidate after bullet sent in post

Matthew Warren · 1 Feb 2012, 12:38

Published: 01 Feb 2012 12:38 GMT+01:00

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Police protection for presidential Green candidate Eva Joly has been stepped up after she received a threatening letter containing a bullet.

Europe 1 reported on Wednesday that the former senior magistrate will now, like other senior politicians, receive protection from the elite SPHP force (Service de protection des hautes personnalités).

Eva Joly has had a difficult campaign so far with several unpleasant scenes, including being jostled in the metro and acts of aggression after some public meetings.

In December her campaign director, Sergio Coronado, made an official request for police protection to the interior ministry. She will now have two officers to protect her.

Joly has been the target of attacks not only for her policies but also her Norwegian roots. 

The trace of a Norwegian accent is often the source of jokes and criticism at her expense. Joly herself has spoken of feeling "discouraged" at times by the attack and said she considers them to be "racist."

The leader of the far-right Front National, Marine Le Pen, attacked Joly in December for policies which she considered "francophobic."

"All her propositions are ridiculous and often francophobic," she said, also on Europe 1. "She regularly expresses her hostility towards everything that is patriotic."

Joly provoked particular ire after suggesting that the traditional military parade that takes place every year on Bastille Day, July 14th, could be replaced by a "citizens' parade." 

The proposal was widely condemned at the time by politicians from all sides.

One parliamentarian from the governing UMP party wrote on his Twitter account that it was "time for her to return to Norway."

Although she is well known, particularly for the distinctive red glasses she wears on the end of her nose, Joly has failed to make an impact with voters so far. Opinion polls currently give her around 3 percent of votes.

An opinion poll published in December by the weekly VSD magazine named Joly as the third most annoying politician in France, behind Socialist Ségolène Royal and former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.



Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

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