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CRIME

French World War Two memorial vandalised with anti-health pass slogan

A memorial to French World War II soldiers and Resistance fighters has been vandalised with an anti-health pass slogan, authorities said, an act that President Emmanuel Macron branded an "insult" to the nation's memory.

President Emmanuel Macron at a ceremony at the Mont Valerien World War Two monument on November 11th, 2021
French President Emmanuel Macron attended the monument on November 11th. Photo:Christophe Petit Tesson / POOL / AFP

The Mont Valerien monument in Suresnes, west of Paris, was vandalised with “Anti Pass” painted in large letters, with the style of the double-s reminiscent of that used by Nazis for their SS inscriptions, authorities said.

The inscription on the monument – which was inaugurated in 1960 by then-president Charles de Gaulle – is 50m long, they said.

Macron called the act, “an insult to the memory of our heroes and the memory of the nation”.

In a tweet, he said that “to sully this sacred place of the republic is to violate what unites us. The perpetrators will be found and put on trial.”

France requires a health pass, which demonstrates proof of vaccination, Covid recovery or a negative test result, for access to restaurants and cafes, public transport and cultural venues, a requirement that sparked major protests last summer.

The government is pushing for a fast rollout of booster shots in an effort to avoid another lockdown, amid a fifth wave of infections and concerns over the new Omicron variant.

It has also said the pass will lapse after seven months for anyone who fails to get a booster shot.

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CRIME

French tax agent ‘kidnapped and killed while conducting an audit’

A French tax inspector was kidnapped and killed, reportedly while carrying out a tax audit in a village in northern France on Monday evening.

French tax agent 'kidnapped and killed while conducting an audit'

The 43-year-old tax agent died on Monday night in northern France, with local media Actu Pas-de-Calais reporting that he was killed by the man whom he was auditing, who later died by suicide.

Emergency services were called to the small village of Bullecourt in the Pas-de-Calais département of northern France at around 8pm. Upon arriving they found two men dead and a woman, reported to be another employee of the tax office, tied up.

She was not believed to be seriously injured but was treated for shock. 

The public prosecutor released a statement saying that both tax agents “were carrying out an at-home audit to check the accounts” of the local man reported to be a brocanteur (antique dealer), who then “kidnapped them and tied them up.” 

“The accused then killed himself with a firearm,” according to the prosecutor’s office. 

The mayor of Bullecourt, a small village of 250 inhabitants, told AFP that he remembered the accused antique dealer as a “helpful” and “ordinary person” who had “integrated into the village.”

Gabriel Attal, the Public Accounts Minister, issued a statement on Monday evening expressing his condolences and saying that the tax agent “was simply doing his job” and that “today, he did not return.” The minister lamented that the agent was “killed while completing a tax audit.”

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