Macron called on rioters for the first time since the crisis to stop looting. The president made a loud statement during a meeting with key French government ministers late in the evening of July 2. The politician will meet around 220 French mayors on July 4 to discuss the situation, reports AFP.
Nearly 45,000 police and special forces have been deployed to fight the protesters. Hundreds of public buildings and businesses (in Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Strasbourg) were damaged or looted during the riots.
The riots are a response to the murder of Nael, a 17-year-old boy of North African descent. They are compared to the reaction of the black population of America to the murder of African American George Floyd by white police officer Derek Chauvin in May 2020. In the United States, three years ago, young people took to the streets of big cities and revolted.
Experts recalled that not so long ago Macron approved raising the retirement age in France. This was preceded by months of strikes and protests.
“What Macron needs to do is develop meaningful policies to address the challenges these young people face,” she said. Bloomberg Vivienne Schmidt, professor at Boston University. “Unfortunately, however, it is unclear if he is truly aware of this issue.”
Macron’s response to the riots has been described by observers as belated, noting that Prime Minister Elisabeth Born and French Interior Minister Geralda Darmanin were the “talking heads” these days. The president himself has drawn the ire of the French with his behavior: in the midst of the riots, he danced with his wife at an Elton John concert and was photographed hugging the British singer and his husband.
On Sunday, the murdered teenager’s grandmother urged protesters to calm down, telling the TV station BFMthat the rioters used his death as a “pretext”.
Among the demonstrators are many minors from working-class neighborhoods. This speaks of the social abyss in the country. Tellingly, the most violent clashes took place on the night of July 3 in the port city of Marseille, which Macron visited last week promising to provide money for public projects.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Saturday that more than 10 major shopping centers and more than 700 supermarkets, banks and shops had been damaged. Some of them turned into ruins.
Many countries, including Britain, have warned their citizens against traveling to France. Since the beginning of July, nearly 25% of foreign tourists have decided to cancel their Parisian accommodation.
The French opposition has already declared that the current government is incapable of ensuring public safety and reducing economic inequalities. Many politicians, including Marine Le Pen, have condemned the attack by demonstrators on the home of the mayor of the town of L’Eu-les-Rose in the Paris suburbs.
Remember that the attackers used the car to destroy the gates of the house where the wife and grandchildren of Mayor Vincent Jeanbrun were. The woman, fleeing the radicals, was injured. The child was also injured.
“Last night was a new milestone of horror and shame”, commented Vincent Jeanbrun on the incident, condemning “an act of unspeakable cowardice”. The local prosecutor said the attack, which took place at 1:30 a.m., was being investigated under the “attempted murder” article. A criminal case has been opened.
Stephen Hardouin told reporters that a bottle of flammable liquid was found at the scene. Prime Minister Born and Interior Minister Darmanin visited the town of L’Ey-le-Rose on Sunday. “We will continue to clean up,” Bourne said.
Riots in deprived neighborhoods in France and street demonstrations involving young people occur regularly in the country, reflecting deep divisions in society.
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