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4 Jul, 2023 15:32

Macron proposes fines for rioting youths

France has been gripped by widespread violence following the fatal shooting of a teenager by police
Macron proposes fines for rioting youths

French President Emmanuel Macron has proposed issuing fines to youths involved in the ongoing unrest in the country, but has said that the “peak” of the rioting across France has passed.

Around 4,000 people have been arrested across the country since Friday in widespread demonstrations following the death of a 17-year-old boy of North African descent at the hands of French police last week. The country’s justice ministry has estimated that about 1,200 of those arrested are minors.

“We need to find a way of sanctioning the families financially and easily,” Macron said during a Monday meeting with police officers in Paris, according to Le Parisien. “A sort of minimum price for the first screw up.” 

Speaking last week, Macron outlined his position that it is the “responsibility of the parents to keep them at home,” amid reports that children as young as 12 had been detained in protests after the killing of teenager Nahel Merzouk by police in the Paris suburbs. The French leader added that “it is not the state’s job to act in [parents’] place.” 

Various French authorities across numerous municipalities have confirmed that there has been a downturn in violence, according to Politico. Around 72 people were arrested between Monday night and early on Tuesday – a significant decrease from previous days.

Four police or gendarmes stations were also attacked late on Monday, the Paris interior ministry said, but no injuries were sustained by law enforcement officials. Around 45,000 police officers were mobilized across the country on Monday.

“I’ll still be very cautious over the coming days and weeks,” Macron told mayors of French areas affected by the violence in a summit at the Elysee Palace on Monday, broadcaster BFMTV reported on Tuesday. “But the peak we experienced in the first nights is over.” 

Macron has also pledged to “start the painstaking, long-term work needed to understand the deeper reasons that led to these events,” according to an official at the president’s office.

However, Macron has also called for vigilance within the ranks of the police amid concerns that violence may again ramp up this month during France’s national holiday on July 13 and 14.

The police officer who fatally shot the 17-year-old boy last week remains in custody as of Tuesday. He is charged with homicide.