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Arial view of Noisy-le-Grand. Photo supplied

French community in uproar over Roma

A disused hotel that has been occupied by hundreds of Roma for a year now, has caused much unhappiness in a commune in the eastern suburbs of Paris, France.

Published: June 19, 2019, 11:29 am

    Noisy-le-Grand

    The commune of Noisy-le-Grand is part of the sector of Porte de Paris, one of the four sectors of the “new town” of Marne-la-Vallée.

    The mayor has now promised the French residents of her town that she will move forward to evict the Roma.

    For a year, residents have been subjected to noise and odors from an old neighbouring hotel. A band of Roma settled on the disused site in 2011, causing a headache for local authorities who can not free up the land, revealed French daily le Parisien.

    On November 30 last year, the court ordered the squatters to clear the premises within five months. Once the time had elapsed, the prefecture preferred to set up a social survey to ensure the rehousing of squatters in case of evacuation.

    But the delay was not appreciated by the mayor of Noisy-le-Grand: “The prefecture could have launched this diagnosis much earlier, around March 31, at the end of the winter break,” says Brigitte Marsigny.

    The prefect should start the expulsion of the Roma by the end of the month, she said.

    There is no question for the mayor that the squatters should leave immediately. “We have signed the permit to demolish and we will do everything to make the land inaccessible,” she explained. None of the occupants should be relocated in the city either, she added. “We already have nearly 1 500 people in a difficult situation,” said Marsigny.

    The neighbours are worried that the evacuation may not happen. They have suffered the daily inconvenience of the squat. “During all the holidays, from morning till night, and filth that accumulates, it has become hellish,” lamented Dominique Engler, chairman of the Union Council of the residences located next to the hotel.

    “They burn all kinds of things. We bought here for the peace and quiet of the place. Today, it’s the opposite,” says another resident. “I can not even welcome my own family,” another local resident complained.

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