Paris rampage after cash giveaway cancelled

15th November 2009, Comments 4 comments

An angry crowd hurled missiles and tipped over a vehicle near the Eiffel Tower in Paris Saturday after a company promised a massive cash giveaway but then failed to deliver, police said.

Paris - An angry crowd hurled missiles and tipped over a vehicle near the Eiffel Tower in Paris Saturday after a company promised a massive cash giveaway but then failed to deliver, police said.

Trouble flared among the crowd of around 7,000 people when they realised the Internet company Rentabiliweb was not going ahead with the publicity stunt to give away some EUR 40,000 (USD 60,000).

Police arrested around 10 people and nine were remanded in custody as anger erupted in the shadow of the Paris landmark.

Metal barriers were erected in an attempt to contain the crowd but people clambered over them. Angry youths also hurled missiles at police.

The police said: "Following traffic problems in the Champ de Mars (park near the Eiffel Tower) area and large crowd movements, the police asked the organiser not to go ahead with distributing the money."

Rentabiliweb "lamented the excesses which occurred" and added precautions been taken in an effort to ensure the event ran smoothly.

Jean-Baptiste Descroix-Vernier, chairman of the company which also runs the website, said the money intended for distribution would instead be given to charity.

The French interior ministry said it would lodge a formal complaint over the botched publicity stunt.

The police said they had told the event organiser that giving out money as a means of advertising was banned and stressed it could be a risk to public order.

But the Paris force added that it did not have the legal powers to stop people who wanted the money taking to the streets.

Gerard, a Parisian in his 40s who had turned up to get his hands on the free cash, wondered "if it wasn't actually a hoax."

"What is certain, is that they have got a lot of advertising from it," he added.

Rentabiliweb announced with great fanfare last month that it planned to give away the huge sum in 5,000 pouches containing a bank note of between five and EUR 500 each.


4 Comments To This Article

  • Michelle posted:

    on 21st November 2009, 01:38:59 - Reply


    You are being the f@@king jerk! It does make sense in the non-combat/military context. Not common,but the word can be utilised and is occasionally used to describe objects thrown.

    One might argue that the writer must be a native speaker to know "missile" can be utilised in this context.

    Iain may be a jerk but you are a complete assh@le.
  • RC posted:

    on 20th November 2009, 21:55:17 - Reply

    iain, do you have to be a jerk?

    Just because a word is in a dictionary doesn't mean it's correct based on the context.

    'Missiles' can technically be any object, but its routine use to describe military-level ballistics creates the connotation of professional, explosive devices. Which, of course, most 'angry youths' in Paris cannot easily get their hands on. A connotation that professional news organizations take into account:
    '...their team bus came under attack from stone throwers as it arrived in Cairo...'
    '...young people appeared just as the team arrived at a Cairo hotel and launched a hail of stones at the bus...'

    Compared with:

    '...four suspected militants were killed when a US drone fired two missiles in Pakistan's North Waziristan region...'

    BBC News

    According to the Cambridge dictionary definition, the authors of the BBC articles should have used 'missiles' in the first two quotes. But funny, they didn't. Because it doesn't make sense in a non-combat/military context. But it was used in the third quote, referring to a military action. Because there, it makes sense.

    The use of the term in this article simply makes it clear that it was not written by a native English speaker. For other non-native speakers that might be ok, but for native speakers, it makes for appalling reading.

    And, sadly, puts Expatica's professionalism in serious doubt.

  • iain posted:

    on 18th November 2009, 14:54:48 - Reply

    Nancy, expand your vocabulary:

    formal any object that is thrown with the intention of causing injury or damage
    Stones, bottles and other missiles were thrown at the police.

    Cambridge dictionary
  • Nancy posted:

    on 18th November 2009, 14:44:38 - Reply

    The English in this article is appalling. The most glaring is that 'missiles' are military weapons, and not something that 'angry youths' throw in the streets. There are many other language errors. I love Expatica, so it's a shame to see some so unprofessional on their website.