French student sets himself on fire over financial problems

A 22-year-old French student is in a critical condition after setting himself on fire.

The man posted on Facebook about his financial difficulties just hours before self-immolating in front of a university restaurant in Lyon.

He blamed President Emmanuel Macron, two of his predecessors, far-right leader Marine Le Pen as well as the European Union for having “killed him”.

Fire-fighters said the man had sustained 90% burns.

The man, who was studying at Lyon 2 University, wrote on Facebook that he no longer had the strength to face the financial burden of living on €450 (£388) a month.

“Let us fight against the rise of fascism, which only divides us… and liberalism that creates inequalities,” he wrote.

“I accuse Macron, [François] Hollande, [Nicolas] Sarkozy and the EU of killing me, creating uncertainties about the future of all, and I also accuse Le Pen and [media] editors of creating fear,” he added.

Referring to the location of the incident – in front of a busy university restaurant – he said he was “aiming for a political venue”.

The man’s girlfriend had alerted authorities after he informed her of his plan in a text message.

The SUD-Éducation and Solidaires student unions spoke of the “precariousness” of “the life of the students”.

“His act cannot be reduced to despair alone,” they said in a statement.


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