Native politicians and charities in France have expressed considerations a couple of French authorities plan to encourage hundreds of homeless individuals and asylum seekers to go away the Paris space earlier than subsequent yr’s Olympic Video games and transfer to different areas of the nation to liberate lodging within the capital.
The information company Agence France-Presse reported that since mid-March, the federal government has requested native prefects to create momentary reception centres in each French area besides the north and Corsica, which might liberate area in motels usually used as emergency lodging centres in and round Paris.
The housing minister, Olivier Klein, advised parliament this month that quite a few motels didn’t need to function emergency lodging for homeless individuals or asylum seekers this autumn as a result of they anticipated an inflow of holiday makers in the course of the rugby World Cup, and the identical was true for subsequent summer season’s Olympics. Maud Gatel, a centrist MP from the MoDem occasion, mentioned 5,000 beds in emergency lodging could be misplaced.
Below the plan, homeless individuals who voluntarily left Paris or surrounding areas could be housed for 3 weeks within the momentary regional reception centres, paid for by the state, earlier than being guided in the direction of lodging in the identical area that met their wants.
Bruz, a city of 18,000 individuals close to Rennes in Brittany, has been designated to accommodate one of many reception centres. It’s scheduled to obtain 50 individuals each three weeks from September. Nonetheless, its mayor, Philippe Salmon, mentioned he was not in favour of the centre being arrange there, in what he known as “unfit” circumstances.
Salmon criticised the state of the land the place the centre was to be situated, which had been described as a wasteland close to prepare tracks. “The bottom is polluted by heavy metals and petrol. For us, these should not dignified circumstances by which to accommodate individuals,” he mentioned. Salmon needed to understand how the state would deal with any potential stress.
The mayor advised the France Inter radio station that native politicians had not been consulted. After Yannick Morez, the mayor of Saint-Brevin-les-Pins, a seaside city in western France, resigned this month after dying threats and an arson assault on his house over an asylum seeker centre.
Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, mentioned: “There may be completely no query of chasing anybody from Paris. None in any respect. No person can be pressured to go away, no one can be obliged to go the opposite finish of France.
“I’m indignant about this being pushed on to town [authority] as a result of it’s not our function or accountability and we already play greater than our half find pressing lodging for weak individuals. Each week we’re placing households into houses.”
She mentioned it was a longstanding drawback “completely unrelated to the Olympic Video games” and she or he had been asking the federal government to provide you with a plan for years.
“Paris will proceed to play its half, however it’s for the state to resolve this. For years I’ve requested the federal government to provide you with a plan they usually haven’t.”
Hidalgo mentioned Rémi Ferraud, a senator and former mayor of the tenth arrondissement in northern Paris the place many immigrants collect across the Gare du Nord, deliberate to submit a draft regulation on the finish of June calling for a nationwide plan to “share” the distribution of individuals from Paris round France.
Metropolis corridor says there are 150,000 individuals in momentary lodging within the Paris area, Île-de-France, and an estimated 3,000 individuals, principally single males and long-term homeless, slept tough within the capital.
Establishing reception centres and discovering homeless individuals and immigrants lodging exterior Paris was an answer however it wanted to be correctly organised and wanted state help for native authorities and the homeless individuals who have been willingly relocated of their areas.
Hidalgo mentioned the state’s failure to handle the issue had created a “chaotic scenario” that was fuelling far-right rhetoric.
Emmanuel Grégoire, Paris’s deputy mayor accountable for city planning, mentioned: “The housing of homeless individuals and migrants is all the way down to the state. We do greater than our half and have opened locations providing pressing lodging for people who find themselves significantly weak and are our accountability together with households with younger kids, however we can’t do that alone and it’s not our job.”
He added: “It’s not true to recommend there would be the mass expulsion of individuals from Paris [before the Olympic Games].”
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