PARIS A New Year’s Eve tradition for some in France of torching empty, parked cars has continued.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls said Tuesday that 1,193 vehicles were burned overnight around the country, where the stunt began in the 1990s.
There was no way to compare this figure to recent ones because the conservative government of former President Nicolas Sarkozy stopped making the numbers public while he was in office. But the rate of burned cars was apparently steady. On Dec. 31, 2009, 1,147 vehicles were burned.
For some, the decision of France’s current Socialist government to resume making public figures of New Year’s Eve’s torched cars is unwise.
Bruno Beschizza, a security chief for Sarkozy’s UMP party, said on iTele TV that publishing the numbers motivates youths to commit such crimes.