Meanwhile, Socialists were infuriated by accusations from [Jacques Chirac] associates that Socialist laxity had encouraged the terrorism. Alain Peyrefitte, a former Cabinet member and editor of the conservative Paris newspaper Le Figaro, said that amnesties by the Socialists when they were in power in 1981 had created a climate that made France "a sanctuary for terrorism."
Angry Socialists tried to throw the charge of laxity back at the conservatives. The Socialists insisted that the previous conservative government of President Valery Giscard d'Estaing and Premier Raymond Barre had a notorious record of releasing terrorists. As far as [Georges Ibrahim Abdallah] was concerned, the Socialists said, the Socialist government reneged on its promise to release him only after evidence accumulated accusing him of terrorist acts.
There has been a good deal of speculation all week that the Chirac government was considering the release of Abdallah on parole. But in a television interview Wednesday night, Finance Minister Edouard Balladur, who is regarded as a close associate of Chirac, said the government has no intention of releasing Abdallah.