Furious Parisians have turned on their Socialist mayor with a Twitter campaign where they are accusing her of gross mismanagement which as left Paris looking like a ‘rubbish dump’.
Thousands of pictures have emerged on social media in the past few days of piles of rubbish filling the streets of the historic city under the hashtag ‘SaccageParis’ – meaning ‘trash Paris’.
Parisians have claimed the city has been left ‘abandoned’ by their Socialist Mayor Anne Hidalgo and they are fed up with living in an ‘unmaintained dump’ which some have likened to a ‘shanty town’.
French far-right leader Marine le Pen weighed in on the situation, tweeting that the ‘thousands of images’ shared with the Saccage Paris hashtag ‘break the hearts of lovers of Paris’.
Furious Parisians have turned on their Socialist mayor with a Twitter campaign where they are accusing her of gross mismanagement which as left Paris looking like a ‘rubbish dump’
Thousands of pictures have emerged on social media in the past few days of piles of rubbish filling the streets of the historic city under the hashtag ‘SaccageParis’ – meaning ‘trash Paris’
She added: ‘Bravo to the revolted Parisians. The degradation of our beautiful capital by the Hidalgo team is a national suffering that should not leave any French indifferent.’
Ms Hidalgo, a Socialist Party member since 1994, became the first female mayor of Paris in 2014 and won a second term last year but now faces severe criticism over the state of the capital.
One twitter user posted a picture of a mattress, dozens of cardboard boxes and plastic bags strewn across a street in Paris.
They tweeted: ‘Ultra-sided city that turns into a dump because of the decisions of the town halls but also because a lot of people are big pigs who don’t give a damn about the state of their streets.’
Just one of the thousands of images posted on Twitter of rubbish in the streets of Paris
Scores of images have emerged of rubbish being piled up in the streets of Paris
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo speaks during a press conference at Paris’ city hall on October 29, 2020
An anonymous Twitter – ‘Paris Propre – had started the Saccage Paris hashtag at the weekend after being frustrated with Ms Hidalgo’s ‘abandonment’ of the city.
‘By launching Saccage Paris, I did not think it would take this magnitude,’ they tweeted. ‘Yet not surprising. The current disaster could not remain without a massive reaction.
‘We are thousands [and we] say stop. Behind this [movement]? Just ordinary locals.’
The user also asked the Mayor which measures she will take in response.
After scores of images began emerging on Twitter, the City of Paris said it had ‘undergone a campaign of denigration’.
Officials said the number of cleaning staff has been reduced by 10 per cent due to coronavirus which ‘may lead to processing delays’.
They added: ‘Like all cities in France, Paris is faced with incivility and problems of regulating public space’.
Rubbish is strewn across the streets in Paris, angering local residents
But their claim that the rubbish-strewn streets were due to a smaller workforce of cleaners sparked another stream of frustration by Parisians.
Rachida Dati, the mayor of the 7th district of Paris tweeted: ‘#saccageparis: Faced with the denial of the reality of the municipal team, we demand the immediate holding of an exceptional Paris Council dedicated to the problems of cleanliness and sanitation in Paris.’
French ‘L’Opinion’ journalist Emmanuelle Ducros responded to the City of Paris in a series of tweets.
She wrote: ‘The problem is not the cleaners. It is the abandonment of the city, the colonization of the public space by delirious developments.’
She pointed to filthy street furniture, gaping electrical boxes, and piles of rubbish in the streets.
Ducros likened the famous Saint Ambroise square to a ‘shanty town’ where it has turned into disarray with ‘piles of garbage’.
‘You call it a “smear campaign”, it is simply the fed up of the despised inhabitants, who have the feeling of living in an unhealthy, tinkered, degraded, unmaintained dump by people who have nothing but ‘reinvention’ in their mouths.
‘We are not asking to reinvent, we are asking you for a clean, maintained living environment, not an [area] that everyone wants to wreck [because] it is so filthy.
‘Paris is a historic city, it belongs to the world. This is not your buddy’s backyard or you can DIY stovepipes found in the trash cans. Give us back Paris.
‘Blaming the locals is really the last thing to do.’
After her win in 2020, Ms Hidalgo pledged to continue her ambitious programme to cut pollution, encourage cycling and expand green spaces, while pedestrianising more of Paris.