While Germany freaked out over 1 burning car in Berlin, 900 times as many were torched in France. Most were targeted.
On New Year’s Eve in France, significantly more cars burned than what the authorities first announced. In total 945 vehicles were set on fire as the spokesperson for the Paris Ministry of the Interior confirmed to the German Press Agency. This is 17.5 per cent more than during the 2015/2016 annual changeover. In a statement released on Sunday evening the Ministry had inititally only reported the number of cars set on fire (650) but did not count the number of cars to which the fire had spread.
Speaking to the newspaper ‘Le Monde’, the spokesperson made assurances that nothing was being covered up. The number of directly targeted vehicles is the most significant figure because it corresponds to the number of offenses. “The other vehicles were not completely destroyed, some were only slightly damaged.”
A year earlier however the authorities had still used the number of all burning vehicles in their balance sheet. The burning of cars on New Year’s Eve has for years become a kind of inglorious ritual in France.
The French authorities had reported “some tensions or disturbances of public order” during the weekend but no major incidences. 454 people were temporarily arrested during the night, 301 of them were taken into police custody.
More than 100,000 policemen, soldiers, firefighters and civilians were in operation throughout the country. Because of the threat of terrorism, the capital of Paris was subject to strict security arrangements for the tradional New Year’s Eve celebration on the Champs-Elysées.