How Fear of Terrorism Has Come to Dominate Life in France

(Financial Times/Irish Times) After a jihadist in a truck killed 84 people in Nice on Bastille Day, the French are trying to comprehend their new normal: terror attacks. As prime minister Manuel Valls said: "France must live with terrorism. In 18 months, the country has changed fundamentally. Since the 2015 deadly attacks on Charlie Hebdo offices and the kosher supermarket in Paris, the surface layer of life has been fear of terrorism. This fear is the parents' meeting to discuss whether terrorists could break into your children's school. It's the university seminar you can only attend if you register in advance, with full passport details. It's the security guard who searches you before you enter your post office. The French now live with the constant worry that the sky could fall on their heads. Before Nice, fear was focused on Paris. Almost every aspect of French life is overcentralized, and the capital had suffered disproportionately from terror. But if hell can break out in a sleepy beach town where millions of French people have happy holiday memories, then nowhere in France feels safe.

2016-07-20 00:00:00

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