• France's news in English

Duflot demands church property for homeless

Malcolm Curtis · 3 Dec 2012, 23:37

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
A Prophet. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Looking for something to watch?

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part Two
Rust and Bone. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

The newest French films you need to see before you die (or alternatively when you get some spare time).

Election Watch
Presidential hopeful reckons a pain au chocolat is 10 cents

So France happily takes the pastry out of him.

French ministry of defence officials die in plane crash
Screengrab: eddydeg/Twitter

The French Ministry of Defence officials were killed on Monday when a light aircraft went down on the island of Malta.

Revealed: The ten most stolen cars in France
A Smart car in Paris. Photo: JR_Paris/Flickr

Thieves in France are getting a taste for luxury cars, it seems.

Analysis - France migrant crisis
Migrant crisis won't end with Calais 'Jungle' closure
All Photos: AFP

The Jungle camp may be being cleared but this won't be the end of the migrant crisis in France.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 'to sell their French chateau'
All photos: AFP

Want to live where Brangelina got married?

How Paris is rapidly becoming Europe's 'City of Innovation'
Photo: AFP

If you want to start a company then Paris is the place to do it, it seems.

'Jungle' clearance: Migrants begin to leave Calais camp
All photos: AFP

The "Jungle" clearance is underway.

France's 'Jungle' children arrive in UK
Authorities will start to clear the ‘Jungle’ migrant camp on Monday. Photo: Denis Charlet / AFP file picture

The first group of children from the French "Jungle" migrant camp with no connection to Britain have arrived in the country, the Home Office said Sunday, ahead of the camp's planned demolition.

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
jobs available