State of Emergency to End

French President Jacques Chirac’s office announced that Chirac plans to lift the state of emergency that was imposed a few months ago, during the height of the nationwide riots and car burning. The three weeks of riots, which started in late October, happened mainly in poor suburbs where many Muslim immigrants lived. Youths, protesting a lack of jobs, set fire to an estimated 9,000 vehicles around the country in the worst civil protests since 1968.

The French government did have fears that the riots would start up again during the New Year’s Eve celebrations. And there were 425 vehicles burned, up from 333 the year before, but there were no major clashes, and currently, it looks like the unrest will not be revived.

If Chirac lifts the state of emergency, like his office announced, it will be more than six weeks earlier than planned. A formal announcement is expected on Tuesday, and the state of emergency is said to be lifted on Wednesday. The state of emergency allowed the use of curfews, day-and-night police searches inside homes and “other exceptional measures”, as the AP puts it. (source)

France News Tracker: Paris Guardian, Topix.net: France,
NewsNabou: France, EIN: France, ParisNews.net
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