France: New President? No Amnesty!

We're close to the second round of the French presidential elections, with two candidates leftover after the slaughter of the 1st round, when there were 10 candidates. The race to the top job is now between the socialist Francois Hollande and the conse...

OJ get out of jail free
France flag

We’re close to the second round of the French presidential elections, with two candidates leftover after the slaughter of the 1st round, when there were 10 candidates. The race to the top job is now between the socialist Francois Hollande and the conservative and current president Nicolas Sarkozy.

It has been a tradition here in France, when a president gets elected, on his first day of office, to grant a general amnesty. Obviously convicts who are about to be released get an earlier expected “get-out-of-jail” card, but also car and motorcycle owners who have been caught speeding, badly parking and running red lights get their outstanding tickets torn up. In fact, I remember under the previous socialist government of Mitterand, I had over 500 parking fines that I had not paid that were cancelled. So it was worth it to hold on to tickets and not pay them.

But no longer! Both candidates have let it be known that they will not grant any amnesty, not for convicts, not for tickets.

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