A Massive Project

STANLEY GREENE / AGENCE VU FOR TIME

DEAD END: In Epinay-sur-Seine, like other suburbs, unemployment is high and drug dealing rife

If the reflex response to reform in France is often protest, just imagine tackling the issues that last fall provoked the worst rioting the country had seen since the upheavals of May 1968. But after nearly four decades of neglect, a major offensive is under way to transform the banlieues, the blighted suburban ghettos that ring many French cities. Leading the drive is the French Minister of Employment, Social Cohesion and Housing, Jean-Louis Borloo. "When you have all of society's difficulties, failings and hardships so concentrated in the same places, you need an audacious, comprehensive plan to address them all," says...

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