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Minister: foreigners to blame for burglary rise

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08:54 CET+01:00

Government figures will show a 16 percent increase in household burglaries in 2011 despite an overall drop in crime.

Interior minister Claude Guéant was speaking on radio station RTL on Tuesday morning in advance of the official release of the figures.

Overall crime was "falling for the ninth year running," he said, "representing 12,000 fewer crimes."

Attacks on people were "stable" while "economic crimes are falling" he said.

He confirmed that burglaries of main residences and second homes were up by 16 percent.

In Guéant pinned the blame on foreigners, singling out people from "central and eastern Europe."

He said this was a "new phenomenon that is difficult to deal with" because "these people move quickly from one country to another."

The Socialist opposition said there was a "failure" of government policy on crime.

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