New Year’s Eve party with 2500 people in France is completely out of hand
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In France, thousands gathered illegally to celebrate at the turn of the year. When the police tried to end a techno party in Lieuron, they were violently attacked and evicted. The breakup of the party is still going on.
IIn the west of France, an illegal New Year’s Eve party with around 2500 participants got completely out of hand: Despite Corona requirements and curfew, ravers from different regions of France and from abroad celebrated in the small town of Lieuron in Brittany.
The celebration continued into the New Year. It only began to dissolve on Saturday morning. The music had been switched off and numerous celebrants had since left the premises, it was said from the prefecture of the Ille-et-Vilaine department in Brittany. There was “no police intervention”.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin wrote on Twitter that the rave party in Lieuron, south of Rennes, had been “ended non-violently” thanks to the numerous police officers on site and the intensive controls. The police will check all participants when they leave the site and issue paid warnings.
According to the prefecture, the first partiers left the party around 5:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. An association that campaigns for risk prevention at raves estimated the number of remaining partygoers at “a few hundred”.
When the police wanted to end the party on Thursday evening, they were violently attacked – and evicted. Interior Minister Darmanin called a special meeting about the situation.
During the riots, a police vehicle was set on fire and three others were damaged. There were bottles and stones thrown, officials were slightly injured. The public prosecutor’s office opened an investigation into the violent clashes.
The police were posted at intersections near the party on Friday evening and kept newly arriving partygoers from the driveway, as an AFP photographer observed. According to the gendarmerie, those who left the premises were “systematically” checked and more than 200 tickets were distributed. A helicopter had also flown over the area during the day.
Many of the techno fans at the party didn’t wear masks and didn’t keep a safe distance. Helpers distributed disinfectant gel and masks to contain the risk of the coronavirus spreading. One raver reported that the party should last until Saturday – others even went from Tuesday. The MP Florian Bachelier from the region spoke of a “shame for our country”.
An illegal party was also broken up in Marseille on New Year’s Eve – according to the authorities, 300 people had attended the party. The security forces met almost 120 celebrants in an empty hangar in the Seine-et-Marne region east of Paris.
A further massive increase in corona infections is feared in France. On Friday, the number of new infections within 24 hours was again around 20,000. Now the nightly curfew imposed to contain the coronavirus in France, which also applied on New Year’s Eve, is to begin in particularly affected areas from Saturday at 6 p.m. and not at 8 p.m.
The curfew until 6 a.m. applies in 15 regions of France, as the government in Paris announced on Friday. For example, the Alpes Maritimes department including Nice is affected. The other affected regions are mainly in the east of the country, Paris remains exempt from the new regulation for the time being.
“The virus continues to spread in France,” said government spokesman Gabriel Attal in Paris. An originally planned possible reopening of theaters, cinemas and concert halls on January 7th is out of the question.
The government spokesman also rejected criticism of delays in vaccinations against the corona virus. When he was told that only 330 vaccinations had been made, he replied that a vaccination campaign that was designed to last six months could not be assessed after “a few days”.