Northern France outraged at child sex allegations

10th February 2009, Comments 0 comments

Politicians demand a public apology from a judge who said it was common for drunken parents to lend their children to friends for sex in northern France.

PARIS – Politicians from northern France demanded a public apology Monday after a judge said it was common in their region for drunken parents to lend their children to neighbours for sex.

Former culture minister Jack Lang was among those to join a choir of condemnation of Judge Didier Beauvais, saying in a statement that his comments "bordered on racism".

Last week the judge said that, in cases that had come before him in court, he had heard of people in northern France who were given to heavy drinking sessions and lending their children to friends for sex.

"Beer-drinking evenings where you invite the neighbours, you drink a lot, you play cards... and the winner can choose a little girl, with the agreement of the parents," Beauvais said.

"It's not psychologists you need to send there, but sociologists or ethnologists," he told an inquiry into a miscarriage of justice.

Lang, a member of parliament who represents the Pas-de-Calais department in the region, said Beauvais should "apologise and a disciplinary procedure should be considered".

Other local politicians have written to President Nicolas Sarkozy to ask for measures to be taken against Beauvais.

French stereotypes about the country's north usually depict it as a bleak, depressed land of beer-swilling incestuous brutes.

At a football match in Paris last April between Paris Saint Germain and the northern French team of Lens, PSG team unfurled a giant banner labelling northerners as "paedophiles, unemployed and inbreeds".

In 2008, a comedy titled "Welcome to the Land of the Ch'tis" debunking stereotypes about the north of France became the most popular French-language film ever released.

[AFP / Expatica]

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