• 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

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.france@thelocal.com)

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
France's 'first ladies': A look at the other halves
How does the actress Julie Gayet match up against Yvonne de Gaulle, Claude Pompidou, Anne-Aymone Giscard d'Estaing, Danielle Mitterrand, Bernadette Chirac, Cecilia Sarkozy and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy? Pho

France's 'first ladies': A look at the other halves

With François Hollande’s romance with Julie Gayet apparently blossoming, the actress looks set to become France's latest unofficial 'first lady'. Writer Amaryllis Barton takes a look back at her predecessors to see how they matched up. READ  

'Ten reasons the French can be proud of France'
Ten reasons why the French can be proud of France, (according to the government).Photo: AFP

'Ten reasons the French can be proud of France'

France has come in for a harsh criticism recently whether it's from British CEOs or budget chiefs in Brussels and Berlin. But the government has taken it upon itself to hit back by publishing ten reasons to be proud of the country. How many do you agree with though? READ  

Scandal forces another Hollande minister to quit
Kader Arif was a junior minister for veteran affairs. Photo: Alain Jocard/Pool/AFP

Scandal forces another Hollande minister to quit

A junior French minister resigned on Friday as a scandal implicating him in the awarding of lucrative public contracts to members of his family hit President François Hollande's Socialist government with another bruising. READ  

France gets a new map, but what's the point?
France is to get a new map, but what is the point of it all? Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP

France gets a new map, but what's the point?

After a long and passionate debate about reducing the number of France's regions, the National Assembly finally voted for a new map with 13 regions this week. But after all the fuss, what's the point of the reform and is there any point to France's regions? READ  

North Korean student feared kidnapped in Paris
Paris prosecutors are investigating the disappearance of a North Korean student linked to political rivals of leader Kim Jong-un. Photo: AFP

North Korean student feared kidnapped in Paris

Paris prosecutors are investigating the disappearance of a North Korean student linked to political rivals of dictator Kim Jong-un, a judicial source said Friday. READ  

HSBC Private Bank hit by fraud charges in Paris
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

HSBC Private Bank hit by fraud charges in Paris

UPDATED: HSBC Private Bank, the Swiss subsidiary of British banking group HSBC, said on Friday it had been placed under formal investigation as part of a French tax fraud probe. READ  

French mag spills beans on Hollande-Gayet fling
Hollande and Gayet chatting on a terrace of the Elysée Palace. Photo: Voici

French mag spills beans on Hollande-Gayet fling

The romance between the France’s president and a younger actress no longer appears to be the country’s worst kept secret with a gossip magazine publishing on Friday the first photos of the lovebirds inside the Elysée Palace. It also claimed Julie Gayet had become a "quasi first lady" READ  

Holiday camp staff fired for mock jihadist killing
The photos were allegedly taken at a holiday camp on the island of Groix. Photo: Jeanne Menj

Holiday camp staff fired for mock jihadist killing

Four entertainers working at a holiday camp for children in north-western France, have been suspended from their posts and reported to police after they photographed themselves re-enacting a jihadist execution. READ  

French and Swiss set for Davis Cup final clash
France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Switzerland's Roger Federer embrace before the action begins on Friday. Photo: AFP/Philippe Huguen

French and Swiss set for Davis Cup final clash

France take on Switzerland and the mighty Roger Federer in the Davis Cup final on Friday hoping that home support will help propel them to a famous victory. READ  

What to do with France's returning jihadists?
What should France do with returning jihadists, including these three, who called Muslims to attack France?

What to do with France's returning jihadists?

From banishing them to a notorious island in the Atlantic Ocean to re-integrating them into society, French politicians are battling to come up with the best solution for the hundreds of jihadists returning to France from the Middle East. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Win your Christmas list: €250 at Marks & Spencer
National
Would background music make the RER in Paris feel safer?
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles from British Airways
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Winter is coming to the French Alps
National
Trierweiler to break her silence... in the UK
Gallery
Don't confuse France with Paris: Here's ten reasons why
Sponsored Article
Live like a local - anywhere in the world
National
From the homeless to migrants: A portrait of modern France in ten stats
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Culture
Are you brainy enough to be Miss France? Take the quiz
Gallery
France's most notorious celebrities. How many do you know?
Society
City of Love? Seven Paris myths debunked
Education
Why is France worst in the EU at English?
National
C'est pas possible! Paris is 'world's cheapest city for young people'
National
Looking to save space? France allows toilets in kitchens for first time
National
Find out how women in France are getting stung for a hidden tax
Culture
Which one is your favourite? The top 10 heartiest French winter dishes
Face Of The Week
Nabilla - 'France's Kim Kardashian' held for attempted murder
National
So who's scaring everyone by flying drones over France’s nuclear plants?
Education
Whoever thinks French was a dying language should read this
Politics
OPINION: 'One day France will be grateful to François Hollande'
Gallery
IN IMAGES: A history of France's most controversial architecture
National
How to make an 8-square-metre Paris apartment perfectly liveable
Gallery
VIDEO: France's raunchiest TV ads, including that infamous Perrier one
National
Five reasons why you should work a ski season in France and five not to
National
10 art exhibitions not to miss this autumn in Paris
Culture
What's on in France: 11 things to do this November
National
How French have you become? Take our quiz to find out
National
10 things to never say to a French person
National
Top 10: When French translations go wrong
National
Parisian bars that serve drinkers free meals
National
France falls to Germans in nude swim tourney
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Nowhere combines sex and art quite like France
National
Why you should never turn down an invitation to a French wedding
Sport
Discover the route of the 2015 Tour de France. There are a few surprises
Gallery
Ten changes that would make learning French so much easier
Culture
IN PICTURES: 'Glass ship' Vuitton ready to set sail in Paris
International
How a giant 'sex toy' earned an American artist a slap in Paris
National
'Unlike in the US the French don't put the blame on the poor'
Gallery
Cover up and don't be too Latin: French travel warnings for the US
Society
Macholand: The online uprising against sexism in France
Gallery
In pictures: The daily life of the 2,000 migrants in Calais
Culture
Erotic promo video earns the Musée d'Orsay our "Only in France" award
National
Seven reasons why everyone should work in a bar in France
National
The cost of expat home comforts: How France compares to Europe
International
Why don't Calais migrants stay in France? The Local went to find out
National
What are the pros and cons of working as an au pair in France?
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

485
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists
Click here for the full job description