Apparently every year in France, vandals go on a yearly purge-like arson rampage setting random cars on fire as a sign of social unrest.
On the last night of 2016, 945 cars met their firey doom around the country, but the French interior ministry insists the holiday “went off without any major incident,” claiming there were just “a few troubles with public order.”
You know, a few… like 1,000.
Over 450 people were arrested on New Year’s Eve in France this year. By the next day, the interior ministry claimed it was just 650 cars set ablaze, choosing to mince words by only counting the cars that were specifically set on fire and not the ones that were engulfed by the flames of other cars being set on fire.
As The Telegraph points out,
The lower figure enabled [the ministry] to claim: “Once again this year, the overall number of vehicles burned demonstrates that, however intolerable, the phenomenon is contained”. By this calculation, the rise, it said, was only 48 cars.
When they got called on their bogus bookkeeping, interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet then claimed the figures it chose to report were the “most pertinent and the most coherent,” and that “there is absolutely no attempt at hiding anything”.
The “tradition” of car burnings on New Year’s Eve in France began in the ’90s and peaked in 2005. Former French president Nicholas Sarkozy tried to stop issuing figures on the car burnings in 2010 with the ridiculous claim that the figures themselves could spark copycat burnings (a dubious claim at best, considering it had already been going on for nearly two decades at that point).
Meanwhile, France is still officially under a State of Emergency.
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