Anger over plan to influence homeless individuals to depart Paris earlier than Olympics | Paris

Native politicians and charities in France have expressed issues a couple of French authorities plan to encourage hundreds of homeless individuals and asylum seekers to depart the Paris space earlier than subsequent 12 months’s Olympic Video games and transfer to different areas of the nation to release lodging within the capital.

The information company Agence France-Presse reported that since mid-March, the federal government has requested native prefects to create short-term reception centres in each French area besides the north and Corsica, which might release house in motels usually used as emergency lodging centres in and round Paris.

The housing minister, Olivier Klein, instructed 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 celebration, mentioned 5,000 beds in emergency lodging can be misplaced.

Underneath the plan, homeless individuals who voluntarily left Paris or surrounding areas can be housed for 3 weeks within the short-term regional reception centres, paid for by the state, earlier than being guided in 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 referred to as “unfit” situations.

Salmon criticised the state of the land the place the centre was to be positioned, which had been described as a wasteland close to practice tracks. “The bottom is polluted by heavy metals and petrol. For us, these will not be dignified situations through which to accommodate individuals,” he mentioned. Salmon needed to know the way the state would tackle any potential pressure.

The mayor instructed 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 demise threats and an arson assault on his house over an asylum seeker centre.

Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, mentioned: “There’s completely no query of chasing anybody from Paris. None in any respect. No one can be pressured to depart, no person can be obliged to go the opposite finish of France.

“I’m offended about this being pushed on to town [authority] as a result of it’s not our function or duty and we already play greater than our half find pressing lodging for susceptible individuals. Each week we’re placing households into properties.”

She mentioned it was a longstanding downside “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 and so they 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 legislation 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 short-term lodging within the Paris area, Île-de-France, and an estimated 3,000 individuals, largely single males and long-term homeless, slept tough within the capital.

Organising 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 had been willingly relocated of their areas.

Hidalgo mentioned the state’s failure to handle the issue had created a “chaotic state of affairs” that was fuelling far-right rhetoric.

Emmanuel Grégoire, Paris’s deputy mayor in command of city planning, mentioned: “The housing of homeless individuals and migrants is right down to the state. We do greater than our half and have opened locations providing pressing lodging for people who find themselves significantly susceptible and are our duty together with households with younger youngsters, however we can’t do that alone and it’s not our job.”

He added: “It isn’t true to counsel there would be the mass expulsion of individuals from Paris [before the Olympic Games].”