Migrants, homeless people get displaced out of Paris ahead of Olympics


(MENAFN) Ahead of the 2024 Summer Olympics scheduled to take place in Paris, France, authorities have initiated a relocation process affecting at least 500 migrants and rough sleepers, who have been moved from the capital to rural areas and small towns across the country. However, this move has sparked controversy, with humanitarian activists and some local authorities viewing it as an attempt to conceal homelessness in Paris before the global sporting event.

The relocation initiative has raised concerns among regional mayors, who have voiced apprehensions about the sudden influx of new arrivals to their respective areas. Serge Grouard, the mayor of Orleans, expressed unease about rumors suggesting that the relocation was aimed at "cleaning the deck" in Paris ahead of the Olympics. He disclosed that approximately 500 homeless migrants arrived in his city without prior notification, raising questions about the timing and intentions behind the relocation efforts.

While new arrivals are provided with three weeks of accommodation in hotels funded by the state, concerns have been raised about the long-term support and integration prospects for these individuals once the initial period ends. Floriane Varieras, the deputy mayor of Strasbourg, echoed similar sentiments, describing the situation as "opaque" and highlighting challenges faced by local authorities in managing the influx of relocated individuals.

Humanitarian activists have criticized the relocation campaign, linking it to the upcoming Summer Olympics and suggesting that it aims to improve the image of Paris by concealing homelessness and social issues. Paul Alauzy of the NGO Medecins du Monde emphasized that if the objective is solely to hide poverty and homelessness to create a more favorable impression before the Olympics, it fails to address underlying humanitarian concerns and challenges faced by vulnerable populations.

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