Sarkozy’s government faces test in the French suburbs

PARIS (AFP) – President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government turns its sights on the troubled suburbs this week, launching a nationwide drive for a new plan that would give immigrant youth a stake in changing France. Nearly two years after the “banlieues” exploded into rioting, Sarkozy has tasked his urban affairs minister and outspoken rights activist Fadela Amara with drafting a set of measures to address joblessness and discrimination. The daughter of Algerian immigrants who grew up in one of France’s rundown housing projects, Amara has released a rough draft of what she has dubbed an “anti-loafing” plan to prevent bored and excluded youth from rebelling.