Riots cost France “quarter of a billion Euros in losses”

05 Jul 2023

Following a week of rioting that saw tourists fleeing and the global image of the country damaged, France is facing a “quarter-of-a-billion Euro bill”.

The fatal shooting of a French-Algerian teenager by a Paris police officer led to the unrest, which resulted in thousands of arrests.

However, as hotel bookings plummet due to visitors cancelling their trips to France, professionals within the tourism sector have joined politicians in cautioning the clean-up from the rioting would cost multi-millions, Yahoo Finance reports.

Back in 2005, similar rioting cost France around £200 million, whilst the so-called Yellow Vests protests that kicked off in 2018 caused damages of around £250 million. 

A source from France’s economy ministry forecasts a similar figure for material damage during these latest riots. 

“Everything from travel infrastructure to shops have been ransacked or burnt out, and this will cost millions,” he stated.

“Add the loss of tourism income, and the overall damage to France’s image, then a quarter of a billion Euros in losses is a conservative figure.”

Around 12 major shopping centres, 250 bank branches, 200 retail chains and several fashion and fast-food establishments were attacked during the riots, the economy ministry source said.

Moreover, according to the head of France’s hoteliers and restaurateurs’ association, Thierry Marx: “Our hotel members have suffered a wave of cancellations of reservations in all the areas affected by the damage and clashes.”

He added that he has received reports each day from colleagues who had endured “attacks, looting and destruction of their businesses, including some restaurants and cafes.”

Whereas Jacques Creyssel from France’s Retail Federation added multiple businesses had been attacked, which were “vandalised, looted or burned.”

These acts “are extremely serious and have an extremely heavy cost,” he stated.

Furthermore, countries such as the US and UK have issued travel warnings to citizens planning to head to France, the Yahoo Finance report adds.

The holiday season reaches a peak in July and August, and the British foreign office stated: “The places and times of the riots are unpredictable.”