horz line

Violence No Fix

photo, willy ronis expo, rue rivoli

On the Rue de Rivoli, outside the Hôtel de Ville.

President Speaks, At Last

Paris:– Monday, 14. November 2005:– Président Jacques Chirac appeared on television in the national news slot this evening, looking focused by wearing glasses for the first time, to suggest that the République can counter discrimination as a response to the crises of judgement, crises of limits, crises of identity.

During the speech, almost the first to address the French public about the wave of urban violence, he proposed the creation of a voluntary civil service coupled with training, that could enroll 50,000 by 2007. "To aid youth in difficulty to find jobs," he said.

The president also repeated a firm message addressed to troublemakers. "Problems, difficulties, a lot of French have them. But violence never fixes anything. When one belongs to the community, one respects the rules."

But he softened this a bit by adding, "I want to say to the children of the hard neighborhoods, no matter what your origins, you are all daughters and sons of the Republic."

He underlined that it is 'the duty of the Republic is to offer, everywhere and to every one, equal chances.' Thenphoto, clock, hotel de ville he continued with a long list of actual plans, and said that France's major financial engagement in these was 'without precedent.'

Perhaps too much décor, but it's still a clock.

All the same he rejected an idea favored by Monsieur Sarkozy, of quotas or 'positive' discrimination for job seekers. He also said he would demand that mayors adhere to the law that stipulates that 20 percent of new buildings must be public housing.

In a final note he suggested that media concerns, especially television, should 'better respect the reality of today's France.' Then he went a step further and invited political parties to do the same – 'to reflect the diversity of France.' Then he closed with, "Vive la République, vive la France!"

State of Urgency Prolonged

Despite increasing calm, after the 18th night of urban violence, the government today decided to extend the law that establishes the current 'State of Urgency' in France.

Speaking to the conseil des ministres in a meeting advanced by two days, President Chirac, quotedphoto, avenue leclerc, saturday night by government spokesman Jean–François Copé, said that the measure was necessary to give the forces of public order all the means necessary for restoring definite calm.

Nights in Paris are usually dark.

According to the spokesman he added that the measure is strictly temporary and will only be applied where it is strictly necessary, in full accord with elected officials.

The 1955 law, initially voted during the Algerian War, will be discussed by the Assembly National on Tuesday and then it will go to the Senat where it is expected that it will be passed on Thursday.

The Score

On Sunday night according to the National Police, of 120 communes affected, only about 10 had five or more vehicles torched. No public buildings were destroyed and police experienced no battles with troublemakers. Firemen received only 810 calls. Overnight five police officers were injured, which brings the total of injured to 140. There were 11,700 officers on duty last night. No figure for civilian injuries is known.

All the same 115 were arrested on Sunday night. This brings the total to 2767 for the past three weeks. Of those arrested 593 have been imprisoned, including 107 minors. Convictions so far number 375 with the remainder waiting for their court dates. Judges have released 41 adults without charges. Arrested minors total 480, and the childrens' courts have released 373, some without being chared.

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