The Custom of Torching Cars Lives for another Year in France

Torched Cars
A picture taken on January 1st, 2013 shows burnt cars collected by city employees during the New Year’s eve in Strasbourg, eastern France. AFP PHOTO/FREDERICK FLORIN

While the rest of the world celebrates New Year’s Eve with love and fireworks, the French seem to have found something that involves more fire: the torching of cars. This New Year’s Eve saw the torching of 1,031 cars, as compared to the figure of 935 from last year. What follows, almost every year, is a number of arrests of the people responsible. However, that appears to be doing nothing to curb the problem.

French president, Emmanuel Macron, denounced the actions by declaring them “cowardly” and stating that all of the culprits will be apprehended. Perhaps, it would be in the best interest of France if its President spent less time giving speeches and more time actually making an example out of people. This custom of torching cars on the New Year’s Eve began in 1990 and has been growing ever since. When you consider how this custom has survived for nearly three decades, you have got to say that it speaks millions of the inability of the French government when it comes to the protection of people’s lives and properties. It is tough being a car owner in France and it’s an irony that the country calls itself the heart of European culture!

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