Macron pledges millions to tackle crime, social issues in Marseille

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President Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday is to pledge millions to tackle crime and social problems in Marseille, beset by deadly gang wars.

Macron plans to present the Marseille Plan during a three-day visit to France’s second-largest city, with hundreds of millions of euros to be invested in schools, urban development and security.

This year, 15 people have died so far in drug wars in the city’s impoverished neighbourhoods.

Macron’s investment follows outrage from politicians and residents, who marched through the streets to commemorate the dead, some of whom were only in their teens.

Gang wars over drugs and poverty have plagued the poorest parts of Marseille for years, with attempts by politicians and police to address the problem having little long-term effect.

A crowd of people in one of the neighbourhoods greeted Macron, who arrived on Wednesday, and later, he met with residents for talks.

He also visited a police station and promised more officers this year and next.

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