Dec 31 2006: feral youth burned 397 cars in France on New Year's Eve
Dec 31 2007: 878 cars were burned on New Year's Eve.
Dec 31 2008: 1,147 cars set ablaze on New Year's Eve.
Dec 31 2009: 1,137 cars torched on New Year's Eve.
Dec 31 2010: It's going to be... a secret...
... according to Brice Hortefeux, France's Minister of the Interior.
Yesterday, while visiting with firefighters in the "sensitive zone" of Val-de-Marne, the Minister announced that his office will repeat the strategy he began employing back in July, as a means to reduce the number of cars now traditionally burned on Bastille Day.
"I took the decision to put an end to the contests, to the honor rolls, and to no longer talk about the number of burned vehicles."
In July Minister Hortefeux implied that the "unhealthy tradition" of keeping citizens informed on the progress (or lack thereof) of policing this fiery vandalism, was only promoting more attacks, inspiring the feral youth toward a thuggish game of one-upmanship.
Now, to rain on their parade, January news accounts will contain no specific accountings of how many automobiles are to be flambées on New Year's Eve: only numbers for the year as a whole will be released.