Mayor Jacques Chirac of Paris, the former premier who is leading his right-wing opposition party in the current campaign for the March 16 parliamentary elections, issued an angry statement insisting that "Paris has become a privileged target of terrorism." Sen. Charles Pasqua, one of Chirac's political colleagues, blamed "the ineffectiveness of the Ministry of Interior and the impotence of the (Socialist) government" for allowing the bombings.
There seemed little doubt that the bombings were aimed at sowing fear among the city's population. None of the targets-an elegant shopping gallery on the Champs-Elysees, the Eiffel Tower, an enormous bookstore in the Latin Quarter and now the Les Halles shopping complex-are linked to any political faction or cause. This was true as well of the targets of two similar bombings Dec. 7, the huge Galleries Lafayette and Au Printemps department stores on the Boulevard Haussmann.