Topic: Breaking News
Just in From Paris: Paris 'Quasi-Normal'
PARIS - Saturday, November 12 –
On the 16th straight night of urban violence the number of incidents in the Ile-de-France region diminished but increased elsewhere in France. The hottest scenes last night were in Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg and Lille.
While 416 vehicles were destroyed beyond the Ile-de-France region, 86 were set on fire in the area surrounding Paris. General Director of the National Police, Michel Gaudin, told reporters that the situation was 'quasi-normal' in the Paris region. The police arrested 206 overnight, bringing the total since October 27 to 2440.
Given menacing rumors police placed an extra 3000 police and CRS officers on guard in Paris. These joined a force 11,620 throughout France. Curfews were applied in communes in six departments, but none so far in the Paris area.
Tonight Nicolas Sarkozy was shown on TV-news inspecting forces under his command on the Champs-Elysées. Earlier he had been reported as saying that a combination of rain tonight and a football match between France and Germany at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, would 'calm' the troublemakers.
Injunction Against Sarkozy Refused
Saturday: Meeting today, the Conseil d'Etat rejected the injunction sought by anti-racist group SOS Racisme, to prevent the minister of the interior Nicholas Sarkozy from expelling foreigners convicted of violent acts during the current wave of urban unrest. On Wednesday the minister told deputies in the Assembly National that he was instructing pr?fets to deport foreigners.
SOS Racisme, despite the rejection, noted the argument of the judge, which pointed out that a ministerial declaration could not lead to administrative acts contrary to the law. Apparently the judge considered the fact that the minister issued no order for his directive to be carried out. If it had been, he would have been warned at least, about the legality.
SOS Racisme also pointed out that the actual number of foreigners that could have been deported as a result of an arrest and conviction was no more than 12 - merely one-tenth of the 120 foreigners mentioned to the Assembly National by the minister on Tuesday, November 8.
For his part Sarkozy stated in a press release that he was 'delighted' with the decision by the Conseil d'Etat. "The instructions given to préfets to deport foreigners seriously troubling public order are perfectly legal and not any way an infraction of fundamental rights," he said, adding, "Consequently, in all the cases that the law permits, foreign troublemakers will be deported to their countries of origin. The procedures are in preparation."
Once again Sarkozy has given potential law-and-order fans a reason for cheer without actually doing anything. Who will forget his stirring promise in the Assembly National to deport foreign scum? But who will note that today's injunction failed because Sarkozy failed to do something illegal that he said he would do? That he persists in saying he will do.
Photo: Saturday Night in Paris
Photo and Text, Copyright © 2005 © Ric Erickson, MetropoleParis