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Heroic 'Spiderman of Paris' granted residency in France

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Heroic 'Spiderman of Paris' granted residency in France
AFP
13:14 CEST+02:00
Mamoudou Gassama, the Malian migrant "Spiderman" who saved a child hanging off a balcony by scaling an apartment block with his bare hands, received French residency on Tuesday, a first step towards citizenship promised by President Emmanuel Macron.

After receiving a resident's permit from local authorities, the 22-year-old, who had been living illegally in France since September, signed a contract to carry out an internship with the Paris fire service.

Gassama, who had been living in France illegally since September 2017, arriving via the Mediterranean migrant route, told President Emmanuel Macron on Monday that he "did not think twice" before springing into action.

READ ALSO: Who is the 'spiderman of Paris' who saved child's life?

Macron told him: "You have become an example because millions of people have seen you. It is only right that the nation be grateful," adding that his immigration status would be "put in order."

During the meeting, Macron also proposed that Gassama, who received a medal and certificate for bravery, join the French fire service.

"I was not thinking of anything. I went straight up," the sporty youth, who wore jeans and a short-sleeved patterned shirt, explained.

"Bravo," Macron replied.

The act of heroism, which was the top news item for most French websites and television channels, comes as French lawmakers debate a controversial bill that would speed up the deportation of economic migrants and failed asylum-seekers.

Gassama has been living illegally in France and working in construction after arriving in the country in September last year following a perilous journey from his homeland to Libya then Italy.

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