France Struggles to Tackle New Year Car Torching


In France's rundown suburbs, it has become as much of a New Year tradition as champagne and fireworks in more affluent neighborhoods.

Every year, the night of December 31-January 1 sees more than 1,000 cars set ablaze across the country in an orgy of vandalism to which the authorities have, until now, largely turned a blind eye.

Since 2010, no official figures on the number of vehicles torched have been published, after it was discovered that a district-by-district breakdown was fueling a destructive competition between rival gangs.

But Interior Minister Manuel Valls on Monday promised that this year's figures would be released as soon as they had been collated.

"Because a problem is hidden, it doesn't mean it doesn't exist," Valls said.

"We have to have transparency. I don't want the count of burnt cars stopping at 6:00 am, as it often did in the past to reduce the total. The French have the right to know the reality."

France will have 65,000 police and other emergency workers on duty for Monday night's end-of-year celebrations.

Comments 2
Thumb ghada12 31 December 2012, 22:29

who is torching these cars? who are the gangs in france? this is crazy, vandalism as a tradition!!!!!

Default-user-icon Canadian2013 (Guest) 01 January 2013, 02:43

Well haven't you heard that Paris is full of arabs? (algerians, maroccons,tunisians )+ black africans... those are the shittiest people in Paris in the suburbs, stealing, burning, and raping ,and participating in gang crimes...If i was France President ,i would have ordered to take back nationality from all the arabs, since they are the shit of this society...