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France ends publication of New Year car burning figures

French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux
French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux Reuters / Jacky Naegelen

France will no longer announce how many cars are set alight in New Year's Eve vandalism, Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux announced on Wednesday.

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The minister, speaking during a visit to meet firefighters at Maisons-Alfort on the outskirts of Paris, said: "I have taken the decision to put an end to the competition... and to no longer communicate the number of burned vehicles".

Burning cars on the last day of the year has become a tradition in some poor suburbs surrounding French towns.

Last year's New Year wreckage in France saw 1,137 cars set on fire, just 10 short of the record 1,147 burned in 2008, even though 45,000 police had been mobilized by the Interior Ministry during the night - 10,000 more than the previous year.

Numbers will now be included in annual vandalism figures.

 

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