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Chirac Says France Must Assist Poor

November 11, 2005|From Associated Press

PARIS — President Jacques Chirac for the first time directly addressed the inequalities and discrimination that have fueled two weeks of rioting across France, saying Thursday that the country had "undeniable problems" in its impoverished neighborhoods.

Violence continued to slow under state-of-emergency measures and heavy policing, with far fewer skirmishes and fewer cars burned.

Police, meanwhile, suspended eight officers, two of them suspected of beating a man detained during the riots. The other six were suspected of witnessing the incident.

Chirac said that once order was restored, France would have to "draw the consequences of this crisis, and do so with a lot of courage and lucidity."

"There is a need to respond strongly and rapidly to the undeniable problems faced by many residents of underprivileged neighborhoods," he said.

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