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LES ECHOS

When A Mid-Sized City Meets The World's Oldest Profession

Lyon is the hometown of France's new Women’s Rights Minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, who wants new measures to stamp out prostitution. With French sex workers demonstrating in the streets, Le Monde looks at how prostitution has evolved in Lyon.

A municipal police team in a Lyon suburb (sammydavisdog)
A municipal police team in a Lyon suburb (sammydavisdog)
Richard Schittly

LYON - The streetwalkers of Lyon are furious. Abolishing prostitution? They are outraged by the very idea, as laid out on June 24 by the Women's Rights Minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, who is also a leading politician in Lyon in charge of youth and community activities.

"The first thing that always comes to her mind is to beat us whores up," says Karen, a 46-year-old spokesperson for local prostitutes. "We are going to defend ourselves, we're not going to go away with one sweep of a broom."

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Geopolitics

NATO Entry For Sweden And Finland? Erdogan May Not Be Bluffing

When the two Nordic countries confirmed their intention to join NATO this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his plans to block the application. Accusing Sweden and Finland of' "harboring" some of his worst enemies may not allow room for him to climb down.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO

Meike Eijsberg

-Analysis-

LONDON — When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared his opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO, it took most of the West's top diplomatic experts by surprise — with the focus squarely on how Russia would react to having two new NATO members in the neighborhood. (So far, that's been a surprise too)

But now Western oversight on Turkey's stance has morphed into a belief in some quarters that Erdogan is just bluffing, trying to get concessions from the negotiations over such a key geopolitical issue.

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To be clear, any prospective NATO member requires the consent of all 30 member states and their parliaments. So Erdogan does indeed have a card to play, which is amplified by the sense of urgency: NATO, Sweden and Finland are keen to complete the accession process with the war in Ukraine raging and the prospect of strengthening the military alliance's position around the Baltic Sea.

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