Macron Consults Mayors for Solutions to Recent Violence

news 03-Jul-2023 Europe

Macron Seeks Advice from Mayors

In France, the riots seem to be subsiding, but 220 municipalities have experienced massive violence in recent days. President Macron has invited their mayors to analyze the causes of the riots.

President Emmanuel Macron wants to reflect on what went wrong and understand what is happening in the country. The plans he discussed during the crisis meeting yesterday evening, as reported by participants, sounded sincere but also helpless. The mayors are expected to help with reflection and understanding. Specifically, the 220 mayors who have suffered extremely violent attacks in recent days.

Vincent Jeanbrun, the mayor of L’Hay-les-Roses, a small town ten kilometers south of the center of Paris, will be among those received by President Macron at the Élysée Palace on Tuesday. He has been hit the hardest. "I am a mayor, I am not perfect. But I never thought that they would threaten my family with death," he said.

Mayor Vincent Jeanbrun Shares Personal Experience of Violence

Vincent Jeanbrun, a member of the conservative Republicans and mayor of L'Hay-les-Roses, shared his experience on the 8 p.m. news on Tf1 last night. He recounted how attackers broke through the gate of his property with a car and set it on fire on Sunday night.

He described how his wife had to flee with their two young children through the garden, while being shot at with fireworks, eventually finding refuge with neighbors. His wife suffered a broken shinbone during the escape. "In the hospital, my wife said to me, 'We will not give up. We will not be victims. Because if we give in to fear, they will have won,'" Jeanbrun recounted.

Challenges in Socially Disadvantaged Neighborhoods Persist Despite Previous Plans According to the mayor of L'Hay-les-Roses, many neighborhoods no longer have cohesion. He himself grew up in social housing and comes from an Italian family. He called for the strengthening and better equipping of the police, but that is not all.

"In these neighborhoods, there are no public facilities, no shops, no social mix," he complained. "It's not necessarily about much more money. But we have to use it better and strengthen everyone who stands up for the Republic," Jeanbrun demanded, referring to kindergarten teachers and educators.

However, all of this is already known. Since 1977, a total of ten action plans have been implemented for socially disadvantaged neighborhoods. In his first term, Macron ordered the halving of class sizes in particularly difficult areas. He also doubled the budget for the renovation of dilapidated buildings and funded courses to help people become self-employed.

French Mayors Call for Unity and Action

Yet the recent blunt and destructive violence has shown that Macron's previous plans have not succeeded. There is a sense of bewilderment. Mayor Jeanbrun urges his fellow citizens to take action and, together with the president of the mayors in France, called for a display of unity today at noon.

"Be a vocal majority, not a silent one! It is always the small groups that tarnish the image of immigrants and social housing neighborhoods. So be in front of the town halls on Monday at noon," he urged. President Macron will consult with the presidents of both chambers of parliament this morning. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne will meet with the leaders of all political factions. Their mission is to reflect and understand.

Firefighter Dies During Protests on the Fringes During the protests last night, a young firefighter lost his life on the fringes. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced on Twitter that the 24-year-old died in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, while extinguishing burning vehicles in an underground parking lot, "despite the swift assistance of his teammates." An investigation is currently underway to determine the cause of the vehicle fire. The minister did not initially establish a clear connection between the fire and the nationwide violent protests.

Violence Subsides on French Streets in a Relatively Calm Night Meanwhile, the violence on the streets of France seems to be subsiding. Once again, 45,000 police officers were deployed, but the number of arrests decreased significantly for the second consecutive night. According to preliminary information from the Ministry of the Interior, approximately 80 people were arrested last night. Compared to the intense unrest of the previous days, with images of hundreds of burning cars and buildings, as well as over 1,000 arrests during the night, it remained relatively calm.

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