Chirac admits not enough done for French Arabs as violence spreads
The civil unrest which has shocked France in recent days has now spread to neighboring Belgium and Germany. For the second night in a row, Belgian Muslims showed their solidarity with their French counterparts by burning cars throughout Brussels overnight Tuesday, while violence in France spread to some 300 towns throughout the country.
In an attempt to quell the violence, a curfew will be imposed in some areas and state-of-emergency law implemented.
French President Jacques Chirac has been criticized by some for not doing enough to put an end to the violence, which has now rocked France for 12 days. He warned that rioters would face harsh punishment for participating in the clashes that have brought mayhem to France and cost the life of one man who was beaten to death, according to the AP.
So far, nearly 1,500 vehicles have been set ablaze, along with countless schools, nurseries, and other symbols of French authority.
In comments to Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Chirac admitted that France had not taken sufficient steps to integrate its Arab and African immigrants, at the heart of the recent violence.
Chirac reportedly said that he "deplored the fact that in these neighborhoods there is a ghettoization of youths of African or North African origin" and that he recognized "the incapacity of French society to fully accept them."
Unemployment in many Arab and African neighborhoods in France is four times the national rate, reaching some 40 percent.