Paris Olympics hiding homeless? Relocation plan sparks controversy
Originally published 2023.05.25. 04:37 pm Last modified 2023.05.25. 04:37 pm Article text

The French government is facing growing criticism for its plan to relocate Paris’s homeless to the provinces ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“The French government has asked officials across France to set up temporary reception centers to accommodate the influx of homeless people from Paris starting in mid-March,” AFP reported on March 24. According to the report, the majority of the homeless in Paris are migrants.

The French government says the move is necessary메이저놀이터 due to an expected shortage of accommodation for the Paris Olympics next July and August, as well as the Rugby World Cup starting in September. French authorities will offer sports fans and tourists the same low-cost hotels that have been providing temporary housing for the homeless.

“The capacity of hotels to receive homeless people in the aftermath of a major sporting event is expected to be reduced by 3,000 to 4,000 places,” Housing Minister Olivier Klein told parliament on May 5, explaining that the local relocation measures are necessary for homeless people who need a place to stay immediately.

However, the regions being considered for the temporary housing of the homeless have said they cannot accept the measures. Mayor Philippe Salmon of Bruges, a city in the northwestern French region of Brittany, opposes the idea of building a relocation center in the center of the region, adding that “the proposed site is next to a railroad and is contaminated with heavy metals.”

“The French government has adopted the methods of all authoritarian regimes, forcibly hiding the homeless from the eyes of those attending the 2024 Paris Olympics,” said Adrien Clouet, a member of parliament for the far-left party France Without Submission (LFI).

Pascal Brice, president of the homeless charity Solidarity Workers’ Union, said that “housing the homeless in good conditions outside of France, rather than on the streets of Paris, is positive in principle,” but questioned whether the government would commit to adequate support.

Similar examples can be found in past Olympics. Prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China forcibly removed beggars and homeless people from the venues or sent them back to their hometowns to buy food. The Rio 2016 Olympics also sparked controversy when homeless people were reportedly removed from tourist areas in the middle of the night.

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