Paris, Jan 1 (EFE).- More than a million people gathered on the Avenue des Champs Elysees in Paris to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks display at the Arc de Triomphe Saturday night for the first time in two years due to the pandemic,
The attendance figures, an all-time record for December 31 according to local media, were confirmed Sunday morning by French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.
“There were no notable incidents,” Darmanin said in statements to the press from the island of Mayotte, where he spent the end of the year on a working visit following waves of violence on the French overseas territory in the Indian Ocean in recent weeks.
Darmanin also confirmed that there were about 500 arrests overnight, 11 % more than in 2022, but there were “20 % less cars burned” compared to a year ago.
Despite the large crowds of people, the minister said the night on the Champs Elysées had gone as well as possible.
Attendance was twice as high as forecasts by the Paris City Hall, with police having to expand the security perimeter for the return of fireworks and music to the iconic avenue, after two years of cancellations due to the pandemic. EFE