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General

France recruits extra security to counter terror threat, blows budget

media French police conduct a search of a car during an identity and vehicle check at the Place de la Republique in Paris, France, November 17, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

France will recruit 8,500 additional police and security personnel as part of new measures to counter the increased security threat to the country following last Friday's attacks. The plans--unveiled by President François Hollande on Monday--are intended to boost the country's ability to defend itself at home.

France is recruiting massively to try and counter one of the biggest terror threats it's ever had to face...And for that, 8,500 jobs are to be created.

The bulk of the recruitment will be done within the police force. Five thousand extra officers will be mobilized to patrol streets in and around Paris... while the government has promised they will be given adequate means to do so.

Already, Prime minister Manuel Valls has said he's willing to allow civilian police officers the right to carry weapons even off duty.

Furthermore 2,500 extra law enforcement officers will be hired, to speed up lengthy administration processes, which often keep police officers indoors filing and writing up reports, rather than outside protecting the streets.

And customs officials will also be given a boost with 1,000 extra staff.

This massive recruitment drive--which won't come into effect until 2017--is almost a deja-vu of the kind of measures rolled out by the government after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January. Back then, security forces were ramped up from 7,000 to 10,000, before being brought back down--and now they're back to 10,000 men yet again!

The whole question though is whether France can afford to hire so many recruits.

The answer is no, and Manuel Valls has clearly said the country will have to dip into its already tight budget to pay for increased security measures.

France is already in debt, and looks likely to miss its 3% budget limit--again--for 7 years running!

But the EU's Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, also France's former finance minister, said Tuesday, the EU is neither rigid or stupid and understands that France will need to spend extra money on security.

This time at least the country has a good excuse for blowing its budget...

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