Monday, October 30, 2006

Next French Export?

Her neighbors hope it doesn't catch on:

PARIS, Oct 30, 2006 (AFP) - The targeting of vehicles by maurading gangs of youths is pretty much a French phenomenon in Europe, according to officials in various countries.

French authorities are currently grappling with a wave of bus torchings -- including one on the weekend that left a badly burned woman on the verge of death -- that is adding to the "normal" arson count of around 70-100 vehicles each night.

Nine buses were incinerated last week, seven of them in the Paris region. The spate of attacks coincided with the first anniversary of the 2005 suburban riots that gripped France -- a three-week orgy of violence that left 10,000 vehicles smoking wrecks.

....In Britain, theft is the main cause attributed to the thousands of arson attacks on vehicles there.... Rioting, in contrast, does not usually involve vehicle burning....

In Germany, there are few examples of cars bearing the fiery brunt of urban disgruntlement, beyond some copycat torchings that occurred during the French riots.

.... A Belgian police spokeswoman, Eels Clemput, said car burnings in her country were "in general to get rid of prints after a bank robbery or theft." ....

In Greece, a small hardcore group of anarchists occasionally set fire to cars belonging to the police or media organisations during major street protests.

In the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Poland, the Scandinavian countries and Switzerland, the phenomenon is practically unknown -- at least for now.

No comments: