Published: 05 Feb 2013 17:25 GMT+01:00 | Print version
Updated: 05 Feb 2013 17:25 GMT+01:00
The French government has given the green light to open a 'safe house' for drug addicts in Paris, where they will be able to inject using clean needles and without fear of landing in trouble with the police.
The French Prime Minister’s office confirmed on Tuesday the safe zone will open on an experimental basis and will be managed by the "Inter-ministerial mission for the fight against drugs and drug addiction" (Mildt) in conjunction with the Ministry of Health.
Drug 'safe houses', referred to in French as “salles des shoot” (shoot up rooms) are currently illegal in France. They are designed to get vulnerable addicts off the streets and into a safer environment where conditions are more hygienic.
The location of the planned drug centre in the capital has not been revealed and authorities have not stated when it will open.
France's Minister for Health, Marisol Touraine announced last year that the government would be looking to experiment with safe houses for addicts in 2013.
Similar venues are set to open in several other cities across France.
The scheme has provoked an angry response among members of France's opposition UMP party.
In a statement released on Tuesday UMP party secretary Camille Bedin said: "If one of these centres opens up then families living near by will suffer from the scourge of drug trafficking.
“Prevention and punishment are the best means to fight against drugs, not consumption. The government is sending out the message that it tolerates drug trafficking.”
It has been widely reported the first safe house will be locate in the city's Gare du Nord area.
"Addicts need help, not a place to take drugs" - click here to find out what the people of Gare du Nord think about the project.
A man was arrested on Friday after causing a scare at the Cannes Film Festival, where he attacked a TV studio with a gun loaded with blanks and a dummy grenade, police and witnesses said. READ () »
French actor and newly-minted Russian citizen Gerard Depardieu on Saturday compared President Vladimir Putin to the late Pope John Paul II and said the ex-KGB agent is what Russia needs as a leader. READ () »
France became the 14th country to legalise same-sex marriage Saturday after President Francois Hollande signed the measure into law following months of bitter political debate. READ () »
Struggling French oyster farmers, whose haul has diminished in recent years, are set to receive some much needed help from their Swedish counterparts, by importing oyster spats from Sweden for the first time. READ () »
France's highest court the Constitutional Council cleared the divisive gay marriage bill on Friday, paving the way for same sex unions to become legal. Francois Hollande said he would sign the bill into law as soon as Saturday. READ () »
While many in the world of football raised a glass to David Beckham when he announced his retirement on Thursday, elements in the French media as well as PSG fans in Paris could not hide the fact they feel a little cheated by his minimal contribution on the pitch. READ () »
Thieves have stolen Chopard jewellery worth $1 million at Cannes Film Festival, French police reported on Friday. The jewellery was due to be loaned to film stars over the coming days. READ () »
Around 750 police have been stationed at schools across the French city of Strasbourg after an anonymous person, believed to be a teenager, posted a message online threatening to commit suicide and kill several pupils at a school on Friday. READ () »
Charges of manslaughter against Martine Aubry, a leading member of France's ruling Socialist Party, were dropped on Friday by a French court. The charges related to a probe into thousands of deaths caused by exposure to asbestos. READ () »
French companies have long had a reputation for relying heavily on unpaid interns. New figures released on Friday highlighting the staggering number of interns on the payroll at banking giant Societé General will only confirm this reputation. READ () »