“Violent hostility”: New Year’s Eve party with 2500 people in France is completely out of hand

Panorama “Violent Hostility”

New Year’s Eve party with 2500 people in France is completely out of hand

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The New Year’s Eve balance – as calm as it has not been for decades

Germany started the new year in the middle of the Corona crisis as calmly as it has not for decades. Hardly any people on the streets, fewer fireworks and correspondingly relaxed police and rescue workers. And yet there were also numerous injuries that night.

In France, thousands gathered illegally to celebrate at the turn of the year. When the police tried to end a party in Lieuron, they were violently attacked and evicted. The party continues a day later.

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 a small town in Brittany.

When the police wanted to end the party, they were violently attacked – and evicted. The raver party with techno music continued on Friday evening, as a journalist from the AFP news agency observed. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin called a special meeting about the situation.

When the police wanted to break up the illegal party in an empty warehouse in Lieuron south of Rennes on Thursday evening, they faced “violent hostility,” as the prefecture of the Ille-et-Vilaine department in Brittany announced on Friday.

Coronavirus - France

Lieuron in France: Gendarmes block access to the location of the illegal big party

Source: dpa / Jean-Francois Monier

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 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.

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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”.

The public prosecutor’s office opened an investigation into the violent clashes. Interior Minister Darmanin wanted to hold a meeting on Friday evening in Paris about how to restore a “normal situation”, as he wrote on the Twitter online service.

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 found almost 120 celebrants in an empty hangar in the Seine-et-Marne region east of Paris.

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ARCHIVE - 31.12.2015, North Rhine-Westphalia, Cologne: People stand on the forecourt of the main train station.  On New Year's Eve, women were sexually molested and robbed at Cologne Central Station.  (to dpa “Five years after Cologne's New Year's Eve - a balance sheet”) Photo: Markus Boehm / dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

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 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”.

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