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Throughout France on New Year's Eve, 1,147 cars met crispy deaths at the hands of arsonists. That's almost 300 cars more than the previous year.
Lighting cars on fire as a form of protest has been a habit among youth in France since the 70s, but ever since the protests of 2005, after two boys were killed in an electrical station while hiding from police, burning cars has become a go-to political statement.

But if you think 1,147 cars in one night is bad -- and as car lovers, we're not saying it isn't -- in 2007, 43,000 cars were burned, and through November of 2008, 36,700 cars were burned. That's more than 100 cars getting flambeed every single day. French president Nicolas Sarkozy has told police to show the youth no mercy, but they apparently only make up 80% of the offenders. The other 20% of arsonists is suspected to be owners committing insurance fraud on a night that provides a great alibi.

[Source: France 24]


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  • 33 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Most are Peugeots, Renaults and Citroens, I guess, so no crying from me.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'll take a French car over a US car any day... (minor exception for Vipers and Corvettes)
        • 6 Years Ago
        LOL, probably self-inflammation :))
      • 6 Years Ago
      Even the muslims there dislike French culture. Can anyone really blame them?
      • 6 Years Ago
      One cannot simply blame the Mohammedamned for car torching in France. It seems to be a national pastime if not an outright insurance scam.
      Car theft is also pretty hot ('scuse the pun)...IIRC Danny Sullivan had one of the first RS4 A4's in France stolen pretty soon after it was delivered!
      The real problem in France is the socialist government (Sarkozy? More of the same in a pinstripe suit...but he's got a hot capitalist wife!) and the dole...LOL an English word to describe French welfare.

      "It is not hate speech to accurately describe a cult/religion that despises any other religion and foments/encourages holy war/jihad to the death against those religions."
        • 6 Years Ago
        The government is part of the problem, like everywhere else... The real problem is poverty. France doesn't have any more unrest than the other developed countries, it is just the way the French show it, 1000 burning cars are a lot more visible than 10 dead people.
      • 6 Years Ago
      @ Polly Prissy Pants = Very goog point

      However, I think that if you ask someone from a different cultural background for help, the least you can do is to be a good host. You won't lock him up in a room on its own.

      I do believe that if the first "immigrants" were sent anywhere but in the banlieues / foyers sonatra, their integrations would have been better. The very few (Muslim or not) who were sent in the countryside do not have integration problems.

      You're also right when you say that some prefer to play the role of the victim.

      It is a very complicated issue...

      ------

      Do not forget that, we French go on strike for no reason. As they are unemployed, they can't go on strike, as a result they just torch cars =)
      (just kiddin)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Are frogs really that stupid?
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Chidfreegearhead

        No we're not, but just like any other country, a minority causes troubles but we people/media tend to blame a whole group because of their prejudices or lack of information.

      • 6 Years Ago
      When I read some of you, I can see how you know us very well (by the way, I'm french). That is simply pathetic !
      "they will only take John Kerry among the non-French as their own" , yes because we are so intolerant ! of course !
      What you say about the muslim is pathetic too. If I had to bet on that, I'll bet that the muslims are less persecuted in France than in the US.

      By the way, "sacré bleu" doesn't exist, I suppose you wanted to say "sacrebleu" which is a very (very very) old expression that nobody uses since the 19th century, but... whatever... still the same old clichés ...
        • 6 Years Ago
        In our country (Czech Rep.) the second largest foreign minority are Vietnamese. They never needed/received any special treatment from our government. Yet somehow vast majority of our society doesn't consider them being problematic. They're peaceful, hard working people. (Ofcourse even in our country there are nazis who hate just about everyone.)
        Now compare it with the experience european countries have with muslims: Sweden, Denmark, France, Netherland, Norway... (Demanding special laws from muslims is just tiny fragment of it.)
        • 6 Years Ago
        hey dim,

        You're probably right that Americans know very little about French. But lest you forget, French know just as little about Americans. So we're perhaps even. Many believe they know Americans from the headlines and over simplified news and babbling experts and analysts (CNN included, and Hollywood has done outstanding job for this). Traveling or visiting a country can sometimes only reinforce already existing stereotypes because one sees such an act and now believes it has confirmed his pre-conceived thoughts. And living in a country for 1 - 2 years doesn't make one an expert about the country. I travel frequently to overseas and lived or stayed in different countries, and this was a pitfall for me in the beginning. I don't know your background, but I guess I am trying to cover all the bases. So let's not judge who's pathetic and who isn't.

        And about Muslim persecutions - yes, it sometimes happens in the US, very regrettably. It happens in France and other countries. But bragging 'we persecute less than you' is plain silly, regardless of its truth.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'll take that bet....

        • 6 Years Ago
        Muslims aren't persecuted in France, just disenfranchised, partially by their own sectarianism(if that's a word)... Yes, there are racist people like everywhere else, but it is not systematic nor government-sponsored.
        It is probably not as bad as the US, where I constantly hear people talking about "dem Ay-rabs"
        Luckily I am not in power, I would forbid all organized-religions.
        In hindsight, I hope you can now admit John Kerry would have been a better choice than Bush round II :p

        • 6 Years Ago
        Not to fan the flames (err, no pun intended) but:

        "I'll bet that the muslims are less persecuted in France than in the US."

        Hmmmm, and I can't help but notice their roasting cars in France, not in the US. Are you incorrect or is there a correlation? I wonder...





      • 6 Years Ago
      hopeless !

      (and for "sacrebleu" just try to say that word to french people and you'll see his reaction, I think you'll understand)

      I will just wirte a few words in french : C'est incroyable, sur ce site, dès qu'il est question de la france, il y en a toujours (vraiment beaucoup je trouve) pour venir la ramener sur les français, comme quoi nous serions intolérants (et attention c'est toujours pareil : on est les pires du monde). Vous savez qu'il existe chez nous aussi énormément de préjugés tous aussi minables les uns que les autres sur les américains ? Sauf que le jour où on arrive à les dépasser, c'est vraiment pas plus mal !
      (mettre des millions de gens dans le même panier c'est vraiment très petit)

      Sur ce...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Attempted translation:

        It's unbelievable, on this site, whenever there is the question of France, there are always (usually I find) who come to bash the french, like how we are intolerant (and note it's always the same - (we) are always the worst of the world. You know that there are among us those who are enormously completely prejudiced and crummy towards Americans. Save the day when one comes upon one of them, it's truly not bad (putting millions of people in the same basket is truly very petty).

        Apologies for any inaccuracies. I haven't spoken or written French in about seven years.
      • 6 Years Ago
      @Andrew

      Before you accuse a whole nation of being intolerant ("The French are some of the least tolerant people I've ever met.") try and think for a minute: which nation was segregating until the sixties? Civil rights movement, MLK... does that ring any bell?
      Sure we've come a long way, but there's still a lot to do in the US.
      And about the arsonists, it doesn't matter that they're Muslims or Christians, from African or European descent: In the US the police would have dealt with them much more severely. France is just too easy on them.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Die spinnen, die Franzosen.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Don't forget that in those impressive numbers, a lot of people are burning their own car for the insurance.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Maybe the other 80% work for the local Renault dealership.

        "So sorry to hear that but I have a beautiful new Twingo that just arrived on the lot and if you buy it I will send your wife flowers"

        I have to laugh at the politics. People arguing my country discriminates less against Muslims than yours. The reality of the fact is all of our governments here in the west are treating Muslims unfairly these days. Just read the stories about what happens when they try to fly. We all need to clean up our own backyards first before pointing at our neighbours. Of course if you happen to live in a non western country then it is more than just the Muslims that are getting mistreated.
        • 6 Years Ago
        hmmm... nobody forgot it. It's right in the middle of the story. The number given is 20%
      • 6 Years Ago

      Maybe France should limit immigration from Muslim countries.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Immigrants giving thanks to their host country. :-/
      Do they burn the donkeys every new years where they come from?

      (before you flame me, I'm an immigrant too. Just not a f&%$ed up one.)
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