French President Macron offers reassurance to mayors over riots

Emmanuel Macron
Emmanuel Macron Copyright Ludovic Marin/AP
By Philip Andrew Churm with AP
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French President Emmanuel Macron has met with mayors of hundreds of towns which were hit by violent protests following the fatal shooting of a teenager by police


French President Emmanuel Macron met with mayors of 220 towns from across the country which were hit in six nights of violence after the fatal police shooting of a 17-year-old in suburban Paris.

In total, 99 town halls have been attacked in the violence, along with schools, police stations and other public institutions, according to the Interior Ministry.

President Macron told the mayors the peak of violence had passed and announced new laws to speed up the reconstruction of what was destroyed. But many mayors want more.

David Lisnard, President of the French Mayors' Association (AMF) said: "The dealers are running things, installing their own order 

"Unfortunately, that's the sad reality, but it's what we experience every time there's an urban riot in our communities. And we know very well that in a few weeks, a few months, a few years, there will be urban riots again. 

"And that requires immediate action to restore order, of course, and regal authority, which is what I'm telling you, and then, at the same time, a profound effort, totally different from what has been done for the last thirty years." 

The unrest was driven by a mainly teenage backlash in the suburbs and urban housing projects against a French state that many young people with immigrant roots say routinely discriminates against them.

According to government figures, the average age of the 3,354 people arrested over the past week was 17.

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