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French burn 1,193 cars over New Year's Eve

This annual 'tradition' is officially counted by the government.

By Clifford Atiyeh Jan 2, 2013 1:03PM
In France, it's apparently not fun enough to pop the country's exquisite Champagne on New Year's Eve. The party doesn't start until you step outside and burn a car. Or rather, 1,193 of them.

That's how many cars were engulfed in flames on New Year's Eve, an outbreak of arson by youths, gangs and other fools that has become so frequent that the government officially tracks the destruction. (The photo is from an earlier riot in August.)

Interior Minister Manuel Valls released the numbers for the first time since 2009, when 1,147 cars were burned.

The government had been reluctant to note them for fear of encouraging the criminals, but now that burning 1,000 cars has become a New Year's Eve tradition, hiding it doesn't seem to help.

While cars get torched all over the country, Paris is a particular hot spot, having been the center of fiery, racially triggered riots in 2005 after two youths were electrocuted during a police chase. At that time, nearly 9,000 cars were burned in less than three weeks.

The government did not release figures of estimated damage, which saw some cars burning until Tuesday afternoon. So, Happy New Year?

[Source: ABC, Le Monde]

Jan 2, 2013 4:10PM

What the hell? Every year this goes on? What a country. Nothing like sitting in a French cafe and smelling the lingering smells of burn out cars . . . What a progressive and cultural country.


xquzit98 - Really? That is what you have to say about this? "Only relatively wealthy Parisians own cars anyway, so they can afford to replace them. It's like owning a car in New York City." The article says it happens all over the country but Paris holds the record. Regardless, since when is it ok to destroy someone else's property for the fun of it?

Jan 7, 2013 3:32PM
If you're an anti-American traitor that owns a Honda or Acura, you don't have to burn your car on a holiday, it'll spontaneously combust on its very own... especially if you own one of the hundreds of thousands of Hondas or Acuras that have been recalled for fuel and electrical fires.  If you own an Honda or Acura, ALWAYS carry a fire extinguisher on-board.  
Jan 3, 2013 10:10AM
I'm not saying it's "ok", but obviously the goverments (local and French) aren't doing anything about it, so oh well.  What are you going to do accept make sure you're insured?
Jan 9, 2013 7:39AM
The French are elitist savages not far removed from cavemen
Jan 3, 2013 5:08PM
In America you don't have to burn your car on a holiday, it'll spontaneously combust on its very own... especially if you own a Ford eco-boost 1.6L,Chevy Volt, Trailblazer, Envoy, Cruze, Buick Rainer, or one of the millions of other Fords that have the infamous switch fire problem. All of which are assigned to a NHTSA recall. 
Jan 2, 2013 1:42PM
Only relatively wealthy Parisians own cars anyway, so they can afford to replace them.  It's like owning a car in New York City.
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