• France edition
 
Duflot demands church property for homeless
Housing Minister Cécile Duflot (Photo: Marie-Lan Nguyen)

Duflot demands church property for homeless

Published: 03 Dec 2012 23:37 GMT+01:00
Updated: 03 Dec 2012 23:37 GMT+01:00

Saying that a “shock of solidarity” was needed to find homes for families given the “disturbing” shortage of available lodgings, Duflot promised to requisition space from the church and other institutions by the end of the year.

“All institutions — banks, insurance companies, the church — who are in a position of owning buildings that are unoccupied, are involved in the call, which is mine, to make available places that will allow the housing of families,” she said.

As part of her campaign, Duflot made public an appeal she had made to the Archbishop of Paris, André Vingt-Trois.

The church responded with a broadside aimed at the 37-year-old Green party member.

“The church did not wait for the threat of requisition by the minister Madame Duflot to take initiatives,” the Catholice diocese of Paris and Corref, a religious organization, said in a joint statement.

The groups said they were “mobilized to come to the aid of the homeless”.

Camille Bedin, of the Opposition UMP, condemned Duflot’s declarations, while praising the work done by the church to help the poor.

Bedin said the minister was looking for scapegoats and making speeches “rather than looking for structural responses to a problem that occurs every year.”
 
The UMP critic said if Duflot was looking to requisition space she should look at the real estate portfolio of the state and local governments.
 
The minister’s comments come after the satirical magazine Canard Enchainé revealed last month that the church had a large number of buildings in Paris that were empty or two-thirds empty most of the time.

Duflot’s office maintains that the Catholic church isn’t being singled out and that other institutions, including public ones, are also being asked to free up vacant space for those without shelter.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.fr)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

2012-12-04 23:05:19 by Gustav Jung
Well done Madame Duflot - more strength to you!
Today's headlines
Jean Jaures: France pays hommage 100 years on
Francois Hollande takes a coffee in Cafe du Crossaint where Jean Jaures was assassinated 100 years ago. Photo: Yoan Valat/Pool/AFP

Jean Jaures: France pays hommage 100 years on

On Thursday France paid tribute to one of its greatest political leaders who was assassinated in a Paris café exactly 100 years ago. Politicians on the left and the right are still fighting over the legacy of leftist hero Jean Jaures. READ  

Gaza crisis
Paris set for pro-Israel demo amid tight security
Up to 6,000 pro-Israel protesters march through Marseille. Paris will see its own pro-Israel march take place on Thursday. Photo: Boris Horvat/AFP.

Paris set for pro-Israel demo amid tight security

France’s main Jewish organization has appealed to all the “friends of Israel” to turn out for a rally outside the Israeli embassy in Paris on Thursday. High security is expected after weeks of pro-Palestinians marches that ended violently. READ  

Air Algérie crash: To ID victims 'may take years'
It may take years to identify the remains of the passengers killed in the Air Algérie crash. Photo: Sia Kambou/AFP

Air Algérie crash: To ID victims 'may take years'

Identifying the remains of the 118 people killed last week when an Air Algérie flight crashed in Mali, including 54 French nationals, could take "months and maybe years," an Algerian police official said on Thursday. READ  

Air France tests unusual luggage check-in system
Air France will let some passengers skip bringing their bags to their airport this weekend. Photo: Jean-Philippe Ksiazek/AFP

Air France tests unusual luggage check-in system

Scores of passengers flying on Air France this weekend won’t need to bring their bags to the airport if they don’t want to. As part of a pilot programme they can instead check their luggage in central Paris and then proceed to Charles de Gaulle empty-handed. READ  

French hospital opens wine bar for patients
The wine bar will be open to patients and their friends and relatives. Wine bar photo: Shutterstock

French hospital opens wine bar for patients

A hospital in south-central France has come up with an unconventional (not to mention extremely French) idea to try to improve the lives of terminally ill patients. It has opened up a wine bar that will offer "medically supervised" wine tasting. READ  

'The French among the world's stingiest tippers'
Are the French stingy tippers? Photo of a bill: Shutterstock

'The French among the world's stingiest tippers'

The French have never been big on tipping, but according to a new survey they increasingly pay what they owe and not a penny more. An expert has an interesting explanation, which has nothing to do with the French being cheap. READ  

French ballerinas offer lessons in Fukushima
French ballet dancer Dorothree Gilbert (R) of the Paris Opera giving a lesson to Japanese children in Fukushima. Photo: Antoine Bouthier/AFP

French ballerinas offer lessons in Fukushima

A group of French ballet stars from the renowned Paris Opera donned tutus and tights in the shadow of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant and twirled their way into the hearts of local students. READ  

'Exorbitant' estate agency fees capped by new law
France is finally capping the fees real estate agencies can charge renters. Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP

'Exorbitant' estate agency fees capped by new law

Starting in September France is finally going to cap the sometimes outrageous ‘agency fees’ renters have to pay when signing the lease for a new apartment. It will mean paying less for some, but not all French ‘locataires’. READ  

France condemns Israeli shelling of Gaza school
France has condemned the deadly shelling of a UN school in Gaza by Israel. Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP

France condemns Israeli shelling of Gaza school

France's president condemned the Israeli shelling of a United Nations school in Gaza that killed 16 people who had sought refuge there. It was the second time this week Israeli artillerie hit a UN school in Gaza. READ  

Facebook: Dad hits baby, posts photo of injuries
Facebook photo: Shutterstock

Facebook: Dad hits baby, posts photo of injuries

Parents of a one-month-old baby in France have been brought up on abuse charges after hitting their child because he wouldn't stop crying and then posting photos on Facebook of the beaten infant "for fun." READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Nudity on the beaches of France: Dos and don'ts
National
Hospital opens patient wine bar with 'medically supervised' wine tasting
Society
Will France ban this violent Jewish fringe group?
Culture
Why are the days of going topless in France coming to an end?
Travel
Reckless or adventurous? US dad takes his two children up Mont Blanc
National
From manure to money: Ten bizarre facts about the French Parliament
Culture
Tourists picnic with rats in Louvre gardens
International
Is France really Europe's biggest public spenders?
National
Could your job in France soon be done by a robot?
National
Why you should think twice about feeding stray cats in France
National
And the new redrawn map of France will look like...?
Politics
Is French President François Hollande about to tie the knot?
International
Want a long-term visa? You may soon have to take a French test
International
Votes for foreigners: 'France would be giving up its sovereignty'
National
VIDEO: Stuntman jumps onto a moving Paris metro... and survives
Gallery
Forget 'faire l'amour', here's 15 top French expressions for making love
National
Report - 'Anti-Semitic' riots in France: 'We may leave for Israel'
National
Paris Plages: Here's 10 reasons to head down to the city beach
International
'Mont Blanc is like Disneyland. It's time to end the free-for-all'
Travel
Fancy climbing Mont Blanc? Here's 10 reasons to think twice about it
Gallery
Looking for a weird museum in Paris? Here's 10 that are worth a visit
National
Clear your head: Eight tips for buying wine in a French supermarket
National
'Don't blame the labour market for France's unemployment woes!'
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se