Jun 3, 2006

French mayor stands up to 'disaffected' yout's

Xavier Lemoine, a self-proclaimed disciple of Margaret Thatcher, seems to also embrace Rudy Guiliani's "broken windows" theory.
Faced with widespread delinquency, he said, his choice was between doing nothing and seeking ways to make his town safer by using the exceptional powers of executive action given to mayors in France. His most controversial move, forbidding teenagers from assembling in groups of more than three, has caused anger on the sprawling Les Bosquets estate.

The law was suspended after a legal challenge by left-wing opponents, but Mr. Lemoine then enraged criminal elements by making a witness statement leading to the arrest of a youth for assaulting a bus driver.

That arrest, and the detention of a burglary suspect's mother during a police raid, provided sparks for the eruption of rioting in Montfermeil on Monday.

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