Death of Nahel: “Rage”, “deep fractures”, “challenge for Macron” … The riots in France commented on by the foreign press

Three days after the death of Nahel killed by a policeman in Nanterre on Tuesday, France is in the headlines. For the third night in a row, public buildings have been damaged, stores looted, vehicles burned… These riots, which put the executive under pressure, come almost a year from the Paris 2024 Olympics and the foreign media many follow this urban violence.

>> Death of Nahel: follow the situation in France live

The events in France are thus on the front page of the site of the British daily The Guardian which points in particular “fractured social relations” and the “deep distrust of the police”. And the London newspaper estimates that these riots are above all the language of those who are not heard: “Rage is cumulative”. Same thing for the Swiss daily The weatherwho analyzes these riots as a “addition of anger” : from yellow vests, to the suburbs of big cities, through pension reform.

The filmed death of the teenager has “reignited deep fractures in the country”, reports for its part the Spanish daily El Paísand not just any: “One of those fractures that never quite close: that of the suburbs”. La Vanguardia, she talks about “the eruption of the French volcano”.

“Electrical Situation”

“Even the speed of the investigation did not calm the spirits” reports The evening, in Belgium, and “explosive atmosphere” riots seem to have spread to Brussels. The Free thus speaks of a “electrical condition” in the Anneesens district with a “strong police presence”. According to the police, “messages circulated on social media calling for riots in Brussels in analogy to events in France.”

“President Macron sends more riot police to the suburbs every night“, writes the Austrian daily The Standard which concludes:Prospects are not good“. And many foreign newspapers wonder, like the Repubblica in Italy: will President Emmanuel Macron establish a state of emergency, while France “bubbles“, according to the expression of the Italian daily.

Die Zeit, in Germany, points to the contradiction between the French right and the extreme right, for whom “the recurring riots in the suburbs are nothing but the result of a state that is too weak” even though “The reason for the current escalation was exactly the opposite: a grossly disproportionate police operation in which an officer shot a 17-year-old boy because he tried to flee in front of his eyes in a car. ” The liberal weekly points to a “unbearable condescension” towards the suburbs and their inhabitants.

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THE Suddeutsche Zeitunghe believes that for France, “it’s time to change your mind” on police brutality. The police “protect the state, not its citizens”, depending on the daily. Still in Germany, Picture notes for its part that 40,000 police can’t control the chaos.”

Change of tone, the New York Times speaks of a “challenge” for Emmanuel Macron, while the death of George Floyd, an African-American killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis in 2020, “left an indelible impression in France”.

For the New York Timesthe French president is faced with a delicate “balancing act“. The daily thus points to a paradox. These riots come at a time when the French economy is doing better, as evidenced by robust growth and a historically low unemployment rate, notes the American newspaper. “France, more than any other western society, is fractured between its urban elites who benefit from growth and the poor, racially mixed suburbs where schools are underfunded and horizons are blocked.”

“And meanwhile…”

For its part, the Russian platform Smotrim estimates that “the extent of these riots” has already “exceeded all those of recent years”, without failing to highlight that during this time, “Emmanuel Macron and his wife attended an Elton John concert in Paris”.

Other short articles convey false information, such as this screenshot, stating that “for the first time since the Second World War, alarm sirens are sounding in France”what is wrong.

Smotrim Russian media page with title "For the first time since the Second World War, alarm sirens sound in France".  (SMORTRIM / SCREENSHOT)

Finally, on Friday, Norway called on its nationals currently in France to avoid crowd gatherings. “There have been riots in several places in France in recent days, including in Paris“, writes the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a text message sent to Norwegian travelers who have checked in on an app from the authorities.Norwegian travelers are advised to take all necessary precautions, as well as stay away from large crowds and demonstrations“, he specifies.

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