Almost 1,000 cars set on fire on New Year's Eve in France
4 Janvier 2017 - motor1
Hundreds of people have been arrested in the aftermath of what's shaping up to be a weird tradition.
We all have strange traditions in our countries, and while some are more peculiar than others, this one in France takes the cake. According to Telegraph, it is believed it all started back in the 1990s around Strasbourg in eastern France in districts inhabited by many poor immigrants. With every passing year, burning down cars started to become a thing around New Year's Eve in more and more cities across the country and it is believed dissatisfied youngsters are mainly responsible for these rather dangerous actions.
The latest episode caused a total of 945 torched cars, with the authorities in France saying some of them have been "totally destroyed" while other are "more lightly affected." Initially, the number announced was 650 and it referred strictly to cars "set on fire," without taking into account the ones totally destroyed by the flames.
Compared to New Year's Eve 2015, the numbers are up by a worrying 17 percent, but even so the interior ministry said in an official statement the celebrations "went off without any major incident" and there were only "a few troubles with public order." The far-Right Front National has an entirely different opinion about what happened that night, accusing the government in France for its "extremely hazy security record."
Police authorities in France arrested no less than 454 people during New Year's Eve, with 301 of them being taken into custody. Thankfully, very few injuries have been reported, as only one firefighter was hurt while attempting to extinguish a car in the eastern department of Ain, along with two police officers in Nice after the arsonists threw "projectiles" at them.
As a reminder, France is currently under a state of emergency following the terrorist attacks, prompting the authorities to put out on the streets during New Year’s Eve approximately 90,000 security forces.