Chirac in new pledge to end riots

French President Jacques Chirac has vowed to create new opportunities for young people in an effort to prevent any resurgence of urban violence. In his first national address since the riots began, Mr Chirac spoke of "crisis of meaning, a crisis of identity". He condemned the "poison" of racism, and announced measures for the training of 50,000 youths in 2007. Mr Chirac, who has been accused of weak leadership during the crisis, also said the rioters must be brought to justice.

Speaking at the Elysee Palace in front of the flags of France and the EU, Mr Chirac said the wave of violence had highlighted a "deep malaise" within French society. "We are all aware of discrimination," the president said, calling for equal opportunities for the young and rejecting suggestions of a US-style quota system. "How many CVs are thrown in the waste paper basket just because of the name or the address of the applicant?"