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Featured on the front page of the FT this morning:

De Villepin attacked for imposing riot law

Dominique de Villepin, France's prime minister, was accused on Tuesday of losing his sang-froid after resorting to a state of emergency to quell riots that have set the suburbs of France's biggest cities alight during the past 12 days.


Le Monde, the newspaper of France's political elite, accused the prime minister of sending a message of "staggering brutality" to the youth of the suburbs, who are for the most part children and grandchildren of African immigrants.

By invoking a law created in 1955 to put down unrest during the Algerian war of independence, Le Monde said, Mr de Villepin had "lost his sang-froid" and was sending the message that "France intends to treat them [the French-born children of immigrants] as it did their grandparents. The prime minister should remember that this spiral of incomprehension, of martial fever and powerlessness has driven the republic to its worst setbacks".


While France's political parties support the government's decision to impose a state of emergency to restore order - albeit with some reservations - a number of deputies and mayors said on Tuesday they would refuse to implement the measures.

André Labarrère, a Socialist senator and mayor of the south-western city of Pau, said he was "totally opposed" to the state of emergency. "It is a form of discrimination that will be very badly received."

Jean-Marc Ayrault president of the Socialist party, said the opposition was prepared to accept the measures because of the urgent need to restore order. However, he warned against using the state of emergency, which will be in place for the next 12 days, as a smokescreen to cover up deeper social problems. It was "first and foremost a social state of emergency", he said. "The young people in revolt are the lost children of a liberal society."

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 9th, 2005 at 05:32:13 AM EST
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