Paris: Robert Menard, the Mayor of Beziers in France, has criticised that the rising poverty, unemployment and crime is due to the increased population of people from other religions. Menard is a supporter of Marine Le Pen’s National Front Party and is known for his aggressive position against refugees and people from other religions. Last year, seven French Mayors had termed the uncontrolled refugee influx in France as a ‘Social Emergency’.
Former French Minister Jean-Louis Borloo had recently submitted a report to the French government. His report included 19 recommendations of social and financial reforms, to improve the condition of the cities. The discussion on this 60-page report was broadcasted on the ‘LCI’ channel (La Chaîne Info). In this discussion Menard had criticised that the population from other religions were at the root of the various problems faced by the cities in the country.
‘The reforms suggested for the troubled cities are temporary and superficial remedies. A fund of 130 million Euros has been provided for a housing project in a new Beziers suburb. But this has hardly been of any help to change the situation. On the contrary, the number of ghettos and the feelings of hatred have taken on unprecedented proportions. The rising population of people from other religions is responsible for the increasing social problems in the cities’, criticised Menard.
There is no mention of the problem of faced due to people from other religions in former Minister Jean-Louis Borloo’s report, claimed Menard. A huge number of refugees have entered France in the last three years. There is large scale discontent about the refugees in the French population and the political parties have also taken an aggressive stand against it. The right-wing groups are leading the charge and leaders like Marine Le Pen have started a major campaign about the issue. Her campaign is gaining support from various cities and the opposition to refugees is becoming stronger.
The population of people from other religions and refugees had a big hand in the terrorist attacks in France over the last few years. This increased the pressure on the French government and President Macron had to bring out a new bill to control the large influx of refugees in France. The letter by the seven Mayors addressed to the government was also a hot topic of discussion around the country. This letter by the Mayors of Lille, Strasbourg, Rennes, Nantes, Toulon, Grenoble and Bordeaux had warned that the capacity of these cities to accommodate refugees was nearing an end and its effects were being seen in the city houses, on streets and in shelter homes.
The same issue has been brought on anvil through the statements made by Mayor Robert Menard of Breziers.