France’s Recent Riots Rack Up €1 Billion in Damages Following Officer Shooting

The extensive damage from recent riots in France has amounted to a hefty €1 billion (roughly $1,090,000,000), said Geoffrey Roux de Bézieux, head of the Movement of the Enterprises of France (MEDEF), during a conversation with Le Parisien.

The chaos has led to significant property damage with “200 shops completely looted, 300 bank branches destroyed, and 250 tobacconists affected,” Bézieux revealed.

As he explained, the losses resulted from “absolute violence” that included theft and arson.

Bézieux also expressed confidence that insurance companies would quickly address claims to help businesses recover.

However, this optimism belies the fact that insurers often increase premiums in the wake of such civil unrest.

The damage to the public sector remains unaccounted for in the €1 billion figure, according to Bézieux.

Public institutions such as schools, libraries, and police stations were targets, as were vehicles.

Notably, the Marseille Alcazar library, one of the country’s largest, suffered arson damage.

Bézieux also warned of the riots’ potential long-term impact on tourism, stating, “we are at more than a billion euros, not counting the damage to tourism.”

Riot footage broadcast globally is feared to have tainted France’s image, and Bézieux is already seeing the repercussions.

“Trips have already been canceled,” he disclosed, anticipating a dip in summer tourism.

For perspective, the United States’ George Floyd riots incurred an estimated €2 billion (roughly $2,200,000,000) in damages.

France, despite its smaller size, has seen the damage toll reach €1 billion within a mere week.

The rising cost of the riots has reignited the immigration debate.

Detractors argue that the financial burdens of housing, education, and jobless benefits for migrants far exceed the supposed benefits of shoring up public finances and pension systems.

Moreover, policing resources spent on migrant communities and the fallout from the riots have led to increasing public backlash in France.

Evidence of this sentiment was evident even prior to the riots, with a majority of French people believing the country had accepted too many migrants and that immigration brought more disadvantages than advantages.

Videos from the riots have supported this sentiment, showing that the majority of the rioters were young individuals of foreign descent.

Legal proceedings against the rioters are confirming this observation.

Amaury Bucco, a reporter for CNews, noted on Twitter that of four individuals tried for looting, three were migrants, including two illegal Algerians.

Additionally, Clara Martot Bacry, a French journalist, reported a case in Marseille involving the son of a Malian diplomat arrested for theft during a demonstration.

Given these circumstances, the economic benefits of mass immigration are under intense scrutiny, while the financial and societal costs appear to be mounting.

The rioting began when, in the prefecture of Nanterre, Florian M. fatally, a French police officer, shot a 17-year-old Algerian-heritage teenager named Nahel, who had a criminal record, during a traffic stop.

The incident, caught on camera, showed the young individual attempting to evade the two officers at a traffic stop.

A secondary footage angle apparently shows one officer positioned on the car’s hood as the young driver stepped on the gas, prompting the fatal shot.

The incident has sparked international attention, with the UN rights office recently commenting that the teen’s death was “a moment for the country to seriously address the deep issues of racism and racial discrimination in law enforcement.”

Others say the French officer has merely “done his job.”

Since then, a GoFundMe campaign has gathered around €934,000 ($1,017,000) to support the embattled officer’s family.