smacking debate reopens

A man from Limoges has been fined €500 for smacking his nine-year-old son because the boy had failed to greet him with a bonjour over the previous few days.

The father, apparently unrepentant, claimed he was victim of "a current fashion that does not want us to discipline children".

The prosecutor, however, said that inflicting physical punishment on children belonged to a "bygone era".