As part of the security measures implemented in the wake of the terrorist attack of January 7, 2015 in Paris, his establishment was put under 24-hour surveillance due to its close proximity to the Synagogue of Reims. That, along with the constant military presence in the vicinity and a parking ban imposed on the adjacent area, effectively drove the Da Fonte’s clientele away, prompting him to close his bar.
"No one could park there: for 5-6 months there were barriers erected everywhere. This in turn affected my revenues. I ended up losing my job, my bar, my apartment – everything," Da Fonte said.
Emmanuel Ludot, famous lawyer who represents Philippe Da Fonte’s interests, told Sputnik that while the government’s desire to ensure the safety of its citizens is commendable, the authorities should not ignore the concerns of the people who live and work in areas where security measures are being implemented.
"In this case the enhanced anti-terrorist measures aimed at protecting the Reims synagogue was, in my opinion, conducted contrary to the common sense as the bar’s clients ended up being unable to reach the establishment. And when pedestrians were prohibited from walking down the (adjacent) sidewalk resulted in bar ceasing to operate. And this is definitely not normal," the lawyer remarked.
He also pointed out that while putting safety concerns first is perfectly normal, security measures require proper planning and organization in order to avoid such unfortunate occurrences in the future.