Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Spiro for France?

Political battlelines are firming up in the French Presidential election thanks to revolting yout's:

In scenes reminiscent of the three weeks of rioting that shook France in November 2005, 13 people were arrested at the Gare du Nord in seven hours of confrontations triggered by an attempt to detain a fare-dodger.

Commuters cowered in dismay as groups of young people threw projectiles at police, smashing shop-windows, advertising hoardings. A sports-shoe shop was looted. Police responded with tear-gas and baton charges, and calm was not restored till after midnight.

"We've got to this situation because for a long time the police has been used exclusively as a force for repression -- ever since the arrival of Nicolas Sarkozy at the interior ministry," said Bayrou.

Sarkozy stepped down on Monday from the post of interior minister, which he held for four out of the last five years.

"Of course travellers should pay for their tickets. But when a simple ticket check degenerates into such violent confrontations it proves that something isn't right," said Royal.

"After five years of a right-wing government which made law and order its campaign theme, we can see the failure. People are pitted against each other, they are afraid of each other," she said.

But Sarkozy -- who was at the Gare du Nord Wednesday morning to catch a train to Lille -- praised the actions of the police.

"If Madame Royal wants to regularise all illegal immigrants and if the left wants to side with people who don't pay for their train tickets, that's their choice. It is not mine," Sarkozy said.

"I will not side with the cheats, the fraudsters, the dishonest. I am on the side of the victims," he said.

Looks a lot like those of the 1960s in America. Say:

Confronted with the choice, the American people would choose the policeman's truncheon over the anarchist's bomb.

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