Macron calls for 'return to authority, starting with the family' after riots

Anti-riot police officers watch a truck burn in Nantes days after a 17-year-old was killed by police in Nanterre.
Anti-riot police officers watch a truck burn in Nantes days after a 17-year-old was killed by police in Nanterre. Copyright Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP
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The French president went on to also blame social networks for contributing to the unrest.


Emmanuel Macron has called for "order, order, order" and the "return of authority at every level" in the wake of recent urban violence.

From the violence that led to "the burning of schools, town halls, gymnasiums, libraries" and from this "violence of looting", "the lesson I draw is order, order, order", declared the President of the Republic in a television interview from New Caledonia.

"Order must prevail. There can be no freedom without order, and that means republican order and a return to calm," he insisted.

According to the Head of State, "our country needs a return to authority at every level, starting with the family". He spoke of "authority in schools, authority on the part of elected representatives, authority on the part of our security forces".

"It's not up to the Ministry of Education, let alone the police, to solve the problem", said Macron.

"We need to make certain families more responsible, we also need to support other families who are in distress, and we need to reinvest massively in our young people to give them back a framework," he said.

The head of state also singled out "social networks", calling for "a digital public order to prevent these outbursts".

"Many of these young people met up, organised these riots, sometimes entered competitions via certain networks, and so here too we must first succeed in better protecting our children and young teenagers from screens", he explained.

Lastly, the President felt that we needed to "review our policy for distributing difficulties": "without doubt one of the limits of our Republic is that for decades we have concentrated difficulties in the same neighbourhoods in the same places".

"Let's stick to "Liberté Egalité Fraternité". Thank you," tweeted Socialist Party first secretary Olivier Faure, reacting to the "order, order, order" triptych.

Other leaders of the left-wing Nupes coalition largely referred to the head of state's reaction, which they felt was inadequate, to the remarks made by Frédéric Veaux, Director General of the French National Police (DGPN).

Veaux said that "before a possible trial, a police officer has no place in prison", calling for the release of a Marseille BAC officer incarcerated as part of an investigation into alleged police violence committed amid the recent riots.

Emmanuel Macron refused to comment on these remarks, but reiterated "no one in the Republic is above the law".

"During the police sedition, the President makes the Education Minister's announcements and attacks single-parent families. Then covers up the excesses without supporting justice," Jean-Luc Mélenchon wrote on Twitter.

On the right, Eric Ciotti, president of the Républicains, proclaimed: "Mr. President, words no longer make an impression in the face of the gravity of the situation. They are useless. The French demand action. Let's get on with it!"

On June 27, the death of 17-year-old Nahel, shot at point-blank range by a police officer during a traffic stop in Nanterre, set the country ablaze, provoking several consecutive nights of violence.

In all, more than 1,300 people were brought before the courts following the riots, including 608 minors, most of whom were not brought to trial.

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