Yazid Sabeg issued a wakeup call to the French nation, which has already suffered major rioting from alienated immigrant youth in the country’s social housing projects.
President Nicolas Sarkozy appointed Sabeg in December 2008 to the newly created position of diversity and equality commissioner. He is to oversee a government action plan aimed at putting more ethnic minorities on TV screens, in political parties and in elite schools that lead to jobs in government and industry. Details of the plan are to be presented in March.
Sabeg stressed that the current financial crisis will hit those suffering from discrimination and lack of opportunity most severely. Sabeg, like Sarkozy, also wants researchers to be allowed to gather data on ethnic minorities — currently taboo in France which forbids the categorization of the population via ethnicity.