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French: unrest wanes but security still high

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French: unrest wanes but security still high


There is a very visible security presence on the streets of Paris but French authorities say the situation is getting back to normal.

After two and a half weeks of urban violence, curfews are having the desired effect. The hardline tactics have come straight from the top. Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy is pushing ahead his controversial plan to throw foreigners found guilty of rioting out of the country. A total of 572 people have been detained since the disturbances began, 364 of them are facing jail sentences. Outside the capital, the situation is more tense. In Lyon’s central square, riot police fired tear gas at a gang of youths on Saturday evening. The city extended a ban on rallies and an overnight curfew. Anger at social exclusion, unemployment and racism has spread across the border into Belgium, too. In Brussels, around 60 people were arrested after a confrontation with police. And in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, a handful of cars was burned, in an attack authorities believe was linked to the problems in France.
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