1,000 Cars Torched in France or, as the French Say, “No Major Incidents”


Fireman tries to put out fire in a torched car in France.Only 1,000 cars were torched in France or as the French say, it was an incident-free night during the annual New Year’s Eve torching. This was reported by the Express UK.

A picture taken on January 1st, 2013 shows burnt cars collected by city employees during the New Year's eve in Strasbourg, eastern France. AFP PHOTO/FREDERICK FLORIN / AFP PHOTO / FREDERICK FLORIN
A picture taken on January 1st, 2013 shows burnt cars collected by city employees during the New Year’s eve in Strasbourg, eastern France. AFP PHOTO/FREDERICK FLORIN / AFP PHOTO / FREDERICK FLORIN

French Officials Lie About the Depth of the Problem

The French government appears to be hiding the statistics.

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 cars 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.

About 454 people were arrested by police throughout the night of New Year’s Eve and 301 of them were taken into custody.

Pierre Henry Brandet, a spokesman for the French interior ministry, said “it was contained” and appeared to be quite satisfied with the handling of the situation. New Year’s Eve “went off without any major incident”, the interior ministry insisted in a statement, adding that there were only “a few troubles with public order”.

Here’s the tweet where they insist the evening went off “without any major incident”.

Burning car in France, New Year's Eve, 2016
Burning car in France, New Year’s Eve, 2016

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.”

The government said they were only releasing the pertinent numbers as a weak excuse.

About 90,000 forces were deployed New Year’s Eve because they were on high alert due to warnings of jihadist attacks.

Who the Perpetrators Are

The media won’t mention who the young men are who are setting the cars ablaze, but they are Muslims and others from the multiethnic underclass. The practice of setting cars alight on New Year’s Eve as a symbol of protest reportedly originated in the 90’s in the poorest areas of the country’s east, around Strasbourg. The burning of cars is used as a tactic to express social discontent.

The traditional New Year’s Eve car torchings have some other factors. One of them is insurance fraud. There are estimates that about 20% of the torchings are actually arranged by owners who pay street gangs to torch their old cars so they can cash in on the insurance. The Paris daily Le Monde says they pay them a few dozen euros and can be reimbursed up to 4,000 euros. A 2008 law made it even easier to claim this refund.

Not Enough Is Being Done

According to Claude Rochet, a former government adviser and professor at the Institute of Public Management at Aix-Marseille University, not only are the authorities playing down the scale of the car burnings, but are powerless to stop them.

“They do not allow it directly, but they have not the capacity to prevent it, because police forces have received instructions not to provoke young people,” Rochet told RT. “So, once they are arrested, if they are arrested, they are immediately released. So, these people fear absolutely nothing, and the police forces are exhausted by the state of emergency, they are exhausted with the problem of terrorists, and they have no time and no forces to dedicate to these so-called minor events such as burning cars.”


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments