French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin says police may be given the power to impose curfews to stop nearly two weeks of rioting in which dozens of buildings and thousands of cars have been destroyed.
The violence by mainly young black and Arab Muslims of North African descent has spread from the Paris suburbs to about 300 other towns and cities.
Mr. de Villepin told French television Monday that the cabinet is to consider giving police the authority to impose curfews. He said the nightly violence is unacceptable and that ensuring everyone's safety is the government's prime duty. He also said the government plans to address what many French say are the main causes of the violence, including unemployment and poor education.
Meanwhile, a 61-year old man beaten into a coma last week outside Paris died Monday. He is the first riot-related death. The riots exploded nearly two weeks ago when two North African teens were accidentally electrocuted while hiding from police in a power station.