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France remains deeply divided over Sarkozy

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France remains deeply divided over Sarkozy


Not everyone in France welcomed news of the presidential victory. Almost immediately after the announcement, disturbances broke out in Paris and in the regions, fuelled by the discontent of those who feel they will be further marginalised in the France of Nicolas Sarkozy.

In Paris, the first signs of trouble came at the Place de la Bastille. Demonstrators gathered to protest against the conservative candidate’s success. There were clashes with police, who used tear gas to disperse the crowd. And at the same time in the parisian suburbs, scenes reminiscent of the riots of 2005, where cars were burned out by gangs of disaffected youths. Several bystanders and police officers were injured during the disorder.

The scenario was similar in most of France’s major conurbations. Spontaneous protests began in towns and cities across the country. Hundreds of anti-Sarkozy campaigners gathered at Marseille’s Old Port to make their disappointment felt.

In Toulouse, more than a thousand people gathered in the city centre. Violence broke out when protestors began to throw stones at the local headquarters of Sarkozy’s UMP party. 15 people were arrested.

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