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France: March Honours Student Who Set Himself on Fire Over Financial Situation

Over a thousand students took part in a demonstration in Lyon on Tuesday to remember a classmate who set himself on fire on November 8 over his dire financial situation.

“[His suicide attempt] serves a purpose, to put student precariousness and political fights in the news. But it’s terrifying that this could be the only way to get that,” remarked one of his friends.

The rally was organised close to where the Lyon University student performed his self-immolation after struggling to survive on the monthly stipend of €450 ($495). The 22 year old is now fighting for his life in hospital with burns to the body of 90 per cent.

The individual in question has not been officially identified but the student union who organised the rally said he posted a message on Facebook explaining that financial difficulties had become too much. In the message he accused French politicians as well as the European Union for creating the situation.

The demonstrators marched towards the rectorate and university of Lyon II’s campus where they staged a sit in and chanted that they would neither forgive, nor forget that authorities let the situation deteriorate so badly.

The university authorities said they would set up a psychological support unit due to the incident, while the president claimed the institution was not aware of his “personal struggle”, despite being “very involved” with the student body.

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