After a decade of tensions and rioting in French ghettos under a right-wing government, Socialist François Hollande got a taste of social unrest this week as well.
As has happened many times before, local anger over the French police practice of spot-checking youths' driver’s licenses and other forms of identification helped sparked the rioting. This time, it resulted in two days of car burnings and 17 injured police in the city of Amiens north of Paris.
President Hollande vowed last night to restore order, and there was a relative calm in the neighborhood today, following police reinforcements. But when Interior Minister Manuel Valls visited yesterday and condemned the violence, he was met with a testy standoff, jostling, and booing.