Paris's mayor promises to make crack garden off limits to drug addicts

Wednesday - 30/06/2021 09:49
The Éole gardens in Paris. © Mehdi Chebil
The Éole gardens in Paris. © Mehdi Chebil
The mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo declared on Tuesday that from Wednesday, "there will be no more drug addicts in the Éole gardens", reiterating her commitment to return this park in the north-east of Paris to local residents by the end of June.

"Tomorrow, the garden will once again become a garden for local residents, for families. There will be no more drug addicts in the garden," Hidalgo said on French television channel LCI on Tuesday evening.

"I have set a limit for the end of June", she said, without giving details of any evacuation plans or where the addicts will go.

Hidalgo wrote to Prime Minister Jean Castex at the beginning of June to ask for "new care facilities to be established that are adapted to the problems faced by crack users". "I want a place to help drug addicts to be opened, because we cannot just evacuate them without dealing with this issue," said Hidalgo.

According to a source close to the matter, Hidalgo confirmed to residents that the Éole gardens would no longer welcome crack users after June 30. 

The park will in theory be off limits to them as a result of police reinforcement and civilian patrols. A programme of activities for local families is also planned for the park. 

The crack users have been grouping together every evening inside the public garden since mid-May, which was frequented by drug addicts during the day, before they would migrate to Stalingrad 500 metres away when night fell. 

The garden was left open to crack users until 1am, causing much tension in the neighbourhood. On Saturday, drug users inside the park were targeted by fireworks.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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 Keywords: France

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