France to ban sale of fireworks on national holiday

Lazy eyes listen


The French will be unable to purchase or transport fireworks mortars on July 14, according to Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne. The limits come in the aftermath of widespread unrest in which youngsters shot pyrotechnic devices at police around the country.

Borne said in an interview with Le Parisien on Saturday that a number of officials and ordinary individuals had expressed concern that the turmoil, which looks to be receding, could resurface during the national holiday.

To prevent this from happening, the French government will use “massive” efforts to “protect the French,” she said, adding that a regulation prohibiting the sale of fireworks mortars would be published on Sunday.

“Only professionals, who will organize the fireworks in the municipalities, will be able to buy them,” the premier stressed.

On Thursday, government spokesman Olivier Veran stated that the authorities would do “everything possible” to preserve “security and public tranquillity” on Bastille Day. He also ruled out the prospect of canceling the national holiday this year owing to the violence.

The disturbance began late last month, when a police officer shot and killed adolescent Nahel Merzouk in the Paris suburbs on June 27. After being halted by authorities, the 17-year-old allegedly attempted to flee. The official was quickly arrested and charged with homicide.

During the days that followed, groups of youngsters clashed with police, pelting them with stones and Molotov cocktails and using pyrotechnics as improvised weapons.

As a result, almost 4,000 people have been jailed, including around 1,200 kids.

Rioters have set vehicles on fire and destroyed private property. According to a municipal authority, 400 businesses in Marseille’s southern port city alone suffered damage of more than €100 million ($109 million).