A Parisian recorded cars burning on the street below a few years ago:
But somehow this year, the authorities are more sensitive about the normalized lawlessness of immigrant youth. Are officials finally embarrassed? Do they see a future of worsening anarchy and civil war with jihadists?
For whatever reason, the government doesn’t want the French citizens to know the extent of this year’s destruction.
FRANCE BURNING: Officials ‘HIDE’ arson stats as 1,000 cars set alight in sinister torching, Express (UK), January 3, 2017
THE French government has been accused of hiding their inability to control the country’s sinister New Year’s Eve torching tradition as the interior ministry claimed the night passed “without any major incident” – but almost 1,000 cars were set on fire and destroyed.
On Sunday, the French officials chose to release a low figure of 650 destroyed cars which only indicated the vehicles that were “set on fire” – a figure which did not include those car that were completely destroyed and engulfed in ensuing flames.
But the official figures revealed a 17 per cent rise since last year’s arson attacks, as a total of 945 parked cars were torched during the terrifying tradition.
Pierre Henry Brandet, a spokesman for the French interior ministry, said: “Once again this year, the overall number of vehicles burned demonstrates that, however intolerable, the phenomenon is contained”.
In reality, 454 people were arrested by police throughout the night of New Year’s Eve and 301 of them were taken into custody.
Marine Le Pen’s National Front far-right party immediately condemned the French government for providing the figures that were “extremely hazy”.
A National Front statement read: “The new interior minister Bruno Le Roux… (initially) didn’t communicate the number of vehicles burned and considers that the number of cars directly set on fire to be ‘contained’ while even this constitutes a significant rise of 8 per cent.”
Protesting his government’s innocence, Mr Brandet said the initial low figures were “the most pertinent and the most coherent”.
Mr Brandet added: “There is absolutely no attempt at hiding anything. You have to look at the trend over several years, and what is significant is that there has been a significant drop over five years.
“These incidents are not tolerable and the perpetrators must be found and answer for their acts before justice.”
The custom of setting vehicles alight on New Year’s Eve is said to have kicked off in the highly deprived and immigrant areas of Strasbourg, Germany and eastern France during the 1990’s.
This year, a firefighter in the eastern department of Ain was injured as he tried to extinguish a burning car.
But the 2005 riots are still branded the worst in France as 8,973 vehicles were damaged, two people died and 126 police and firefighters were injured.
With France ruled in state of emergency due to the number of recent terror attacks, around 90,000 security forces were deployed on French streets during the New Year celebrations where half a million revellers congregated.
Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French president, briefly abandoned the tradition of issuing an official breakdown of New Year’s Eve car burning figures when he was leader amid fears copycat actions will be sparked, yet the figure release has since been re-instated.