No longer illegal to be rude to president

2013-07-25 18:25
French President Francois Hollande. (AFP)

French President Francois Hollande. (AFP) (Lionel Bonaventure, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - Being rude to the French president is no longer an offence after parliament agreed on Thursday to amend legislation dating back to 1881 in favour of freedom of speech.

Whereas before any rude remark risked an automatic fine for "offending the head of state", the president is now reduced to the same category as ministers and parliamentarians and would need to have a judge prove there had been slander or defamation.

The change came after the European Court of Human Rights ruled in March that France violated a demonstrator's right to freedom of expression when it fined him for holding a banner up to former President Nicolas Sarkozy reading: "Get lost, jerk."

That slogan has been infamous in France since Sarkozy used the same words in 2008 to insult a man in a crowd who refused to shake his hand, and the court judged that left-wing activist Herve Eon was being satirical with his protest banner.

It said his conviction and €30 fine were out of proportion to his protest and that his right to freedom of expression had been violated.

Anyone found by a judge to have slandered the president still runs the risk of a fine of up to €45 000.

President Francois Hollande has so far shown a thick skin, however, as critics have given him a string of unkind nicknames like "Flanby", a brand of wobbly caramel pudding or "Mr Little Jokes".

Read more on:    francois hollande  |  nicolas sarkozy  |  france

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.