The French are once again stifling the animal spirits of the free market with the dead hand of l’etat:
Sales of petrol and other combustibles will be limited on New Year’s Eve in a bid to curb what has become an annual tradition of revellers (sic) torching hundreds of cars, police said.
Youths in the often depressed suburbs of French cities have been torching hundreds of vehicles on New Year’s Eve since the early 1990s in what police say has become a competition to see which area can cause the most damage.
Police last year said they would no longer release figures for the number of vehicles set on fire to put an end to the “competition and ranking” that had emerged, with more than 1,000 vehicles being torched every year.
Presumably the denizens of les zones sensibles will still be handing out participation trophies, however.