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Paris in migrant crisis as 2,500 set up camp but left-wing mayor BLOCKS removal
A NEW Jungle style migrant camp is developing on the streets of Paris with thousands of people now sleeping rough across the city. But the 2,500 migrants now living in squalor on the streets of the French capital might not be removed because the left-wing city mayor refuses to agree to a government plan to clear the camp, Interior minister Gérard Collomb said.
By Romina McGuinness, The Express, May 24, 2018:
The crisis echoes that of the Calais migrant camp, which was closed down for the second time in 2016 after thousands of people, largely from Eritrea, Sudan and Libya, slowly built a shanty town on land near the port so they could make bids for Britain.
The Calais migrants were dispersed to reception centres across the country but many have been drawn to the capital.
Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said police were preparing to dismantle the sprawling camps.
But a dispute is bubbling between the government and Paris’ left-wing mayor Anne Hidalgo, who disagree over how to treat migrants and their long-term reception.
Mr Collomb said he had “taken note of” and deeply “regretted” Mrs Hidalgo’s “refusal to take the necessary steps to allow police to evacuate the migrants”, adding the situation would “go on forever” if Paris officials did not “take all necessary measures to stop new tent camps from forming”.
Mrs Hidalgo and rights groups called for the migrants to be moved to reception centres and given help, arguing evacuations would simply result in migrants being dispersed across Paris or summarily or wrongly deported.
Mr Collomb warned on Wednesday police would carry out identity checks during the evacuation operation.
He said: “We want to welcome those in need of protection but also deport those who are not eligible for asylum.”
Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux later accused Mrs Hidalgo of shirking her responsibilities as mayor.
Mr Griveaux told Europe 1 radio on Thursday: “We are stepping into Anne Hidalgo’s shoes because she neglected her political responsibility to evacuate the camps.
Gérard Collomb said police were preparing to dismantle the sprawling camps
A dispute is bubbling between the government and Paris’ left-wing mayor Anne Hidalgo
“Technically, only the mayor of Paris and the city’s chief of police have the authority to order the evacuations.”
The situation has become “unbearable” for Parisians, he said.
A petition launched last week, signed by top humanitarian groups including UNICEF France and the French Red Cross, stressed Paris migrants were in “urgent” need of shelter and denounced an affront to basic human rights.
The French Communist Party hit out at Emmanuel Macron for tough immigration laws which make it harder for people to stay in the country illegally.
They said in a statement: “For several months now, more than 2,500 migrants have been living rough on the streets of Paris – either in tents or along the canal Saint-Martin and the canal de l’Ourcq – in deplorable hygienic conditions that defy human dignity.
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