Just as we warned 5 months ago, the decision to bulldoze the migrant camp in Calais known as “The Jungle” has had consequences for the rest of France. Specifically, the so-called ‘scenes from the apocalypse’ have got worse as Thomson Reuters reports, French authorities are seeing a “big” increase in the number of migrants sleeping rough in Paris.
As we pointed out just a few weeks ago, the Paris you know or remember from adverts or brochures no longer exists. While no part of Paris looks like the romantic Cliches in Hollywood movies, some districts now resemble post-apocalyptic scenes of a dystopian thriller. This footage, taken with a hidden camera by an anonymous Frenchman in the Avenue de Flandres, 19th Arrondissement, near the Stalingrad Metro Station in Paris as well as areas in close proximity, shows the devastating effects of uncontrolled illegal mass immigration of young African males into Europe.
But, since the demolition of the Calais “Jungle” camp in the last few days, the number of migrants sleeping rough on the streets of Paris has risen by at least a third since the start of the week when the “Jungle” shanty town in Calais was evacuated, officials said on Friday. As Reuters reports,
Along the bustling boulevards and a canal in a northeastern corner of Paris, hundreds of tents have been pitched by migrants – mostly Africans who say they are from Sudan – with cardboard on the ground to try and insulate them from the autumn chill.
While the presence of migrants there is not new, it has grown substantially this week, Colombe Brossel, Paris deputy mayor in charge of security issues, told Reuters.
“We have seen a big increase since the start of the week. Last night, our teams counted 40 to 50 new tents there in two days,” Brossel said, adding there was now a total of 700 to 750.
This means there are some 2,000-2,500 sleeping in the area, up from around 1,500 a few days before, she said.
Of course, officials remain in denial – presumably believing this surge is just coincidence…
France’s asylum chief Pascal Brice said the arrivals in Paris did not mean there had been a wholesale movement from the Jungle to the capital.
“There might be some movements at the margins (towards Paris) but what is crucial is that those 6,000 people have been protected,” he told Reuters.
Between the Stalingrad and Jaures metro stations in Paris, migrants who spent the night camped out on the median strip of a major road, with traffic passing on either side, had scattered on Friday morning, many carrying their tents while police patrolled the centre of the boulevard.
Migrants and officials said police checked ID papers and asylum requests and later let the migrants return to the central strip of the avenue where they put their tents back up.
“There’s a lot of new people here,” said Mustafa, 21, from Darfur, as he waited on the side of the road.
Ali, also from Sudan, said: “I see more people than before. People came yesterday and before yesterday from Calais.”
Finally, as we noted previously, Paris Mayor Hidalgo, who has threatened to file a lawsuit against the American media outlet Fox News for reporting about Muslim no-go zones in Paris, seems to have no qualms about turning parts of northern Paris into ghettos for illegal migrants.
“Paris will not avoid taking responsibility while the Mediterranean becomes a graveyard for refugees,” she said. “I do not want to look at myself in the mirror in 10 or 15 years and say: ‘You were mayor of Paris and you are guilty of not helping people in danger.’”
Hidalgo added that “Europe and France are not living up to their history when they fail to treat outsiders with dignity.”
Hidalgo’s project has been welcomed by some, including pro-migration charity groups, and has infuriated others, such as French Housing Minister Emmanuelle Cosse. She said there already are enough refugee shelters in Paris and that Hidalgo’s announcement would only serve to draw more illegal migrants to the city.
In an interview with Europe 1 radio, Cosse said that “migrant camps are not the solution” because they amount to the establishment of migrant ghettos where integration becomes impossible. Cosse said that more than 1,000 additional illegal migrants had arrived at the Jardins d’Eole in the week since Hidalgo’s press conference, bringing the total number of migrants there to 2,300.
A political analysis by the center-right Le Figaro postulates that Hidalgo’s plan for a migrant camp is just the latest in a series of provocations in which she is attempting to establish her left-wing credentials as part of a strategy to win leadership of the Socialist Party. The report says she believes President Hollande will lose his bid for reelection in 2017, and that his defeat will pave the way for a leadership battle between Hidalgo and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. According to Le Figaro, Hidalgo is determined to become the Socialist Party candidate for President of France in 2022.
A report by the French public radio channel France Inter describes the rivalry between Hidalgo and Valls as “war unto death.”
Hidalgo’s quest to become the first female president of France may be derailed by the head of the anti-immigration National Front party, Marine Le Pen, who is now one of the most popular politicians in France.
According to an opinion poll published by Le Monde on June 1, 28% of those surveyed said they would vote for Le Pen in 2017, compared to 21% for former president Nicolas Sarkozy and 14% for Hollande. The poll also shows that on a scale of 1 to 10, Hollande’s approval rating is at 2.1.
The National Front party has accused Hidalgo of putting the concerns of migrants ahead of those of French citizens. In a statement, the party said that the number of homeless people in Paris had increased by 84% between 2002 and 2012, but that Hidalgo has shown little interest in alleviating the problem:
“It is absolutely scandalous that Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo uses taxpayer money to house illegal migrants. Migrants should not be housed in hotels or in modular homes within migrant camps. They should be in detention camps waiting to be taken back to their country of origin.
“Anne Hidalgo’s project is characteristic of a political class that is more concerned with migrants than citizens, a political class that has forgotten that the main role of leaders is to care above all for their own people first.”
Meanwhile, efforts by French police to tear down makeshift migrant camps have become like a game of whack-a-mole. More than 20 camps have been dismantled in Paris over the past 12 months, but each time they are rebuilt within weeks.