Monday, November 14, 2005

France to cash in on riots.

France, a nation nonpareil when it comes to milking institutions, has received an offer of 50 million Euros from the EU, with a promise of up to a billion more to help rebuild its shattered inner cities, reports the Beeb.

Designed in part to show France some solidarity, the move by the EU was also meant to show the French that the EU isn't their enemy--a notion President Chirac hasn't been shy about bandying about.

France has been offered 50m euros ($59m; £34m) by the European Union to help recover from more than two weeks of rioting in poor city suburbs.

European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso said up to 1bn euros could be made available eventually for job creation and to help social cohesion.

French insurers estimate that damage claims alone will reach 200m euros. Violence has been dwindling, but sporadic incidents were reported during the 18th night of unrest. [...]

In a radio interview, the head of the European Commission said youth employmentwas a key challenge.

"The best social politics is to create employment," he told Europe 1.

"When you have 60% of youths unemployed in suburbs it is a problem." [...]

Nearly 9,000 cars have been burnt so far, which points up another problem the French have: a lack of garage space. Those 50 million Euros can buy a lot of Renaults.