France Sees "Relatively Calm" New Year– Only 372 Cars Torched
It was a “relatively calm” New Year’s Eve in France.
Only 372 autos were torched by disenfranchised youths.
In other good news only 259 people arrested for hooliganism and 4 policemen receiving light injuries. (RIA Novosti)
VANDALS torched 372 cars as France celebrated the New Year, down on the figure last year after a night the police described as “relatively calm”.
Cars are burned fairly regularly in France and the image of vehicles in flames in poor suburbs became symbolic of riots in 2005 when angry youths set fire to thousands of cars.
There is usually an increase in the number of cars torched on New Year’s Eve compared to other days of the year.
“The night was relatively calm, without notable incident, there were very few direct clashes with the security forces,” said a spokesman for the national police.
The Interior Ministry said 372 vehicles had been burned – 144 in the Paris region and 228 in the rest of France. That was down from 397 last New Year’s Eve.
At the height of the 2005 riots as many as 1400 cars were attacked in overnight violence. In protests over President Nicolas Sarkozy election last May, demonstrators set fire to 730 vehicles.
In 2006, an average of 112 cars a day were torched across France. There were 15 attacks per day on police and emergency services and almost 3,000 police officers were injured in clashes with residents.