French president vows to continue curfews, and also start a jobs program for the disenfranchised ‘daughters and sons of the republic.’ From the LA Times:
PARIS “” Confronting social and political devastation left by 18 days of riots, French President Jacques Chirac promised Monday to respond to a “profound malaise” behind the unrest with both tough policing and programs to fight youth unemployment, discrimination and blight.
After being criticized for his silence during the nationwide rampages, Chirac made his first formal speech on the subject as disturbances subsided in all but a few lingering trouble spots. Chirac’s words and tone Monday night expressed the gravity of the situation.
In keeping with the law-and-order line his government has taken, he said he would ask legislators to extend by three months a state of emergency based on a little-used 1955 law that permits curfews and other extraordinary police powers.
But Chirac also announced the creation of a civilian service agency to provide employment and training to 50,000 young people by 2007. He acknowledged that an “identity crisis” afflicted many children and grandchildren of working-class immigrant families from North and sub-Saharan Africa, youths who feel mired in bleak, lawless neighborhoods and rejected by society.
“I want to say to the children of the difficult neighborhoods: Whatever their origin, they are all daughters and sons of the republic,” Chirac said. “We will construct nothing durable without respect. We will construct nothing durable if we allow the growth, wherever they originate, of racism, insults, abuse. We will construct nothing if we do not combat the poison to society that is discrimination.”…
Nicolas Baverez, a historian and economist, said increased spending would not be enough. Since 2000, he said, the government has already poured about $40 billion into the deprived neighborhoods that have erupted in arson and violence…