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Nationality curbs

France's conservative Prime Minister, Edouard Balladur, whisked a controversial bill on French nationality through parliament in the first of a series of planned measures on the sensitive issue of foreigners and immigration, Reuter reports from Paris.

The bill, toughening conditions for acquiring French nationality, was the first important legislation to go through parliament since the conservatives' landslide election win in March. Parliament passed it with an overwhelming 476-88 vote, reflecting the weakness of the opposition. Mr Balladur's coalition has a four-fifths majority in the National Assembly.