French Interior Minister Manuel Valls reported that 1,067 vehicles were set ablaze on New Year’s Eve. The Local reports that Valls called it a “positive result” since last year the total number of cars burned was 1,193.
The destruction was spread across France with the worst concentration north of Paris in Seine-Saint-Denis, a heavily Muslim suburban area. This Press TV report is from last January but notes auto-arson was highest in the same Paris suburb last year. Press TV frames the issue as one of “alienation and anger”:
The French government stopped reporting totals by region when it learned the “breakdown was fueling destructive competition between rival gangs.” But last year Interior Minister Valls revealed that “between 42,000 and 60,000 automobiles are intentionally torched in France every year.”