Paris, Jul 5 (EFE) – The riots that have gripped France for over a week seemed to be easing Wednesday after eight consecutive nights of clashes between police and protestors following the killing of a 17-year-old during a traffic stop.
The police shooting of 17-year-old Nahel M in Nanterre, a Paris suburb, on June 27 sparked a wave of angry protests across the country which turned into riots, especially in the working-class neighborhoods of France’s cities and in the Paris metropolitan area.
On Tuesday night police made 16 arrests marking a sharp downturn on the previous nights with 72 arrests on Monday and 157 on Sunday night, the Interior Ministry reported.
The ministry said some 78 vehicles were scorched and 116 fires were put out on streets.
Since the riots first erupted police have made 3,625 arrests, of which 1,124 were minors. The interior ministry added that 380 people have been imprisoned following summary trials.
In terms of material damage, in addition to hundreds of public buildings that were burned or damaged and the thousands of cars set on fire, Economy and Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, told BFMTV that 1,000 stores, several hundred bars and 400 bank branches had also been looted or destroyed during the riots.
“All that for nothing, destroying for the sake of destroying,” Le Maire said in an interview with the cable television channel, adding that such violence “is unspeakable and unjustifiable.”
The minister said that Wednesday’s Council of Ministers meeting would examine measures to speed up the repair of affected communities echoing French French President Emmanuel Macron’s Tuesday announcement that the government would present an “emergency law” for the reconstruction of damaged buildings.
Le Maire added that the government’s Victims’ Guarantee Fund would be made available to citizens who could not claim insurance for vehicles damaged during the riots.
The aid would apply to residents with annual incomes that were below 26,000 euros a year. EFE