• France's news in English

French mayor 'to force artists to mind kids'

The Local · 30 Jul 2015, 11:36

Published: 30 Jul 2015 11:36 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Fréjus’ National Front Mayor David Rachline’s plan to have a group of around 15 local artists serve as “voluntary” minders of pre-school and primary-school kids has been met with outrage by those concerned.

“The Town Hall has decided to make us work for free, it wants us to take care of kids for free!” art photographer Olivier Isselin lamented, adding he was ready give up his studio if the plan goes through.

“We have no training in taking care of kids that small. And how will it work considering we often have to go away for exhibitions to do our real work?” he was quoted as telling French daily Le Parisien.

Because of their professional status, which is considered to be precarious in France, the artists have up until now received steep subsidies for their work spaces, paying only €2.50 per square metre a month in the old part of Fréjus.

But when their former rental contract with the Town Hall ended on June 30th, the new mayor decided to add a few conditions to the agreement, forcing the artists to participate in “educational activities organised by the city” between 4:30pm and 6pm.

According to Le Parisien, the mayor announced the measures during a Town Hall meeting on July 21st.

“The town finances a large part of the rents of a certain number of these ladies and gentlemen,” Rachline allegedly told the meeting, adding that Fréjus was only "getting a minimum in return".

"There will be no more debate: either this project works out and everyone agrees to take part [in the child-minding activities], or I’ll put an end to artists not paying the same as everyone else.”

Lawyer Emmanuel Bonnemain said the child-minding obligation weren’t fair on the artists.

Story continues below…

“Most of them are already financially strained,” he said.

“And here, [Town Hall] is adding an extra burden since they will have to do volunteer work during the time they usually create. The plan is also that the kids will be kept by the artists in their studios. But who’s going to pay the insurance for the material that the kids are likely to want to use?"

Calls made by The Local to the Fréjus Town Hall were unsuccessful.  

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

Frenchwoman finds WW1 grenade among her spuds
Photo: AFP

It could have been a very explosive family dinner.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

UK to spend €40 million on securing Calais border
Photo: AFP

Britain spending big on security in Calais.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
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
jobs available