CATHERINE Deneuve and Charles Aznavour are among 60 names on a petition against plans to penalise prostitution.
“Without supporting or promoting prostitution, we oppose the penalisation of people who prostitute themselves or those who use their services, and we demand the start of a real debate without ideological assumptions,” the petition states.
It was launched by the French singer Antoine and published in the magazine Le Point.
The singer told the magazine he was opposed to “statistics of convenience” such as those which claim 90% of prostitutes are trapped.
The National Assembly at the end of this month is due to debate a new law to fine the clients of prostitutes €1,500, a figure that would double for repeat offenders.
Another petition entitled Touche pas à ma pute (‘hands off my whore’ - a pun on the anti-racism campaign phrase Touche pas à mon pote) and signed by 343 self-styled “scumbags”, caused a polemic when it was launched at the end of October.
The petition was championed by the magazine Le Causeur, whose editor Elisabeth Lévy described the new law as “repression, disguised as feminist struggle”.
Antoine has stressed that there is no connection between the two petitions.
Photo:Charles Aznavour by Xavier Thomas