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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Socialist mayor to set up drug centre in immediate vicinity of schools and creches

By: V4 Agency

Residents are protesting against the plan proposed by the district’s leadership for fear that junkies would plague their neighbourhood. The facility for drug addicts would be housed in a vacant building that used to function as a kindergarten.

The Socialist mayor of the 20th district in Paris drew severe criticism with the plan to set up a centre for drug addicts a stone’s throw from the town hall, in the immediate vicinity of schools. The decision was also approved by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, the 20th district’s leadership posted on Twitter, announcing that the centre is expected to open later this year.

The decision is in line with the position of Anne Hidalgo, who told the newspaper Le Parisien in a recent interview that to keep drug consumption away from the streets, she wanted to create medically supervised facilities where addicts can administer their daily doses to themselves.

The presence of junkies on the streets poses a mounting problem in Paris. Early in the summer, a public park called Jardin d’Eole in Paris’s 19th district was inundated by drug addicts after city authorities decided as an interim measure in mid-May to allow them into the park in order to reduce their numbers in the vicinity of the Stalingrad metro station. However, the move did not address the problem, as drug addicts continued to hang out on the streets and one of them nearly caused a tragedy. In late June, a women – under the influence of a substance – attacked a two-year-old girl in a stroller, nearly blinding her in one eye.

Local residents were outraged and demanded that the drug den be closed down, which Mayor Anne Hidalgo promised to do. Her plan is to set up a dozen reception centres in the capital, where addicts would receive care, social support, accommodation, and they could administer their doses under medical supervision. The mayor of Paris wants to get drug addicts off the streets of the capital.

A 20. kerületben kiszemelt helyszín azonban nem tetszik a helyi lakosoknak, mivel a Pelleport utca 172. száma alatt található üresen álló épület régebben egy óvodának adott otthont és a környéken több iskola, óvoda és bölcsőde van, sőt, még egy idősotthon is van a közelben. A lakók attól tartanak, hogy ha megnyílik a drogközpont, akkor ellepik majd a környéket a kábítószeresek, ezért tiltakozást szerveztek a kerület vezetésének döntése ellen, a megmozduláson többszáz aggódó szülő vett részt.

But the location in the 20th district met the disapproval of local residents, as the vacant building at 172 rue Pelleport used to house a kindergarten and there are several schools, creches, and even a nursing home nearby. The residents fear that if the drug centre opens, the area will be overrun by addicts, and have organised a protest against the decision of the district’s leaders. The demonstration was attended by hundreds of worried parents.

Frantic parents also placed a huge banner in front of the proposed drug centre, proclaiming that they did not want crack cocaine near their schools.

The drug centre, which is scheduled to open in November, is opposite a school attended by many students, and parents are fearing that drug addicts could pose a risk to their children.

Francois-Marie Didier, a politician of The Republicans and Paris city councillor, says there have been no drug users in the district so far and there are around 1,500 schoolchildren in the district, so it is extremely worrying that addicts would be housed in the neighbourhood. Mr Didier therefore called for the project to be suspended and for an extraordinary meeting to be called in the district, the politician said on BFMTV.



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