The much lamented tradition of torching cars to mark the arrival of the new year claimed more than 10 per cent fewer vehicles this year
By David Chazan, Paris
8:41PM GMT 01 Jan 2014
By French standards, it was a peaceful New Year’s Eve.
Only 1,067 cars and vans were destroyed by arson, a “significant” reduction of more than 10 per cent compared to the number of vehicles set ablaze last year, according to Manuel Valls, the Interior Minister.
All things considered, it was a “positive result”, Mr Valls told a press conference on Wednesday. He said he regretted the deaths of three people in knife attacks in Paris and in eastern and southern France.
Car-torching has been adopted as a modern New Year tradition by some young revellers in France. The practice reportedly began in earnest amongst youths – often in poor neighbourhoods – in the 1990s in the region around Strasbourg in the east of the coutnry.
Last year 1,193 vehicles were burned, according to official figures.