• France's news in English

Police evacuate France's oldest shanty town

The Local · 27 Aug 2015, 16:13

Published: 27 Aug 2015 16:13 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
On a cold and rainy day in Paris, around 300 people were evicted from their camp in the Samaritain shanty town in La Corneuve, Seine-Saint-Denis, which was wedged between the A86 motorway and the RER B train line. 
The collection of makeshift homes had stood in the area for around seven years - enough to make it the oldest of its kind in France. However, a judge ruled earlier this month that enough was enough and that the slum had to be torn down. 
The move didn't come as a surprise for the residents, who were aware that the evacuation had been scheduled for a while and had even penned an appeal to the mayor to keep the town intact. 

(Police moved residents on from the shanty town on Thursday. Photo: AFP)
Authorities on the scene said the evacuation went without protest.
"The atmosphere is calm, we're speaking with the occupants, and they know it is merely a judicial decision," one official told Le Monde newspaper.
The camp was home to around 80 families, most of whom came from Bulgaria and Romania.
One resident of the camp, 17-year-old Jozsef Farkas, personally wrote an appeal to the local mayor calling for the camp to remain after an offer from two NGOs, the Abbé Pierre Foundation and the Médecins du Monde to help fix the slum.
The organizations had offered to fund and carry out a cleaning of the slum, to install running water, and to help register the residents in schools and jobs with the long-term goal of joining regular society. 

(A look inside the shanty town before it was evacuated. Photo: AFP)
Over 38,000 people signed the petition, although their signatures fell on deaf ears. 
Story continues below…
"Even though we have made huge efforts for seven years, our living conditions have not improved and remain dramatic due to the lack of an official address," the teen had written in the appeal.
He added that the 300 residents would simply be left to move "out onto the streets" if the eviction went ahead. 
"What will be our fate? Where will we go? What will we do?" he wrote.  

(Residents from the slum gathered on the nearby streets of La Courneuve. Photo: AFP)
Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
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.

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?

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.

Millionaire Riviera hotel boss kidnapped in broad daylight
The city of Nice where the millionaire was bundled into a car infront of shocked onlookers. Photo: AFP

The millionaire head of a luxury hotel in the French Riviera resort of Cannes was kidnapped in Nice in front of shocked onlookers in the middle of the day on Monday.

Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer
Photo: Beery/Flickr/AFP

Being half French, half British is means you get asked a lot of questions (and some of them can be a little annoying.)

Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

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