The evacuation had been expected for several days. On the morning of Wednesday April 17, the largest squat in France, located in Vitry-sur-Seine (Val-de-Marne), south of Paris, was being evacuated. The operation takes place one hundred days before the Olympic Games, mobilizing some 250 agents, according to the department prefecture.

These disused offices slated for demolition sheltered up to 450 exiles, most of them in a regular situation, according to the associations. Many homeless people who had found shelter there left the area before the arrival of the police.

The approximately 300 occupants who still remained left the scene shortly after 8 a.m., noted journalists from Agence France-Presse. They left with suitcases in hand, containing all the belongings of their life in France, and with worried faces. Some of them had been living in these premises for several months, unable to find accommodation in private housing or while waiting for social housing. Accommodation solutions for these displaced people remain unknown for the time being.

“People on permanent contracts, but to whom we don’t want to rent”

According to the United Migrants association, which regularly provides them with assistance, 80% of them are legally in France. For several months, the Le Reverse de la Medal collective, which brings together associations helping precarious people living on the street, has been warning about the fate of the homeless whose makeshift camps are being dismantled at a more sustained pace. approaching the Olympic Games (July 26 to August 11) according to this collective.

According to Paul Alauzy, who works for Médecins du monde, this new evacuation is linked to the Olympic Games. “We have been witnessing evictions for a year and the evacuated squats still remain empty,” he told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

“We are evicting [squats:] Chadians, Sudanese, Eritreans, Ivorians, Guineans who have papers: people on permanent contracts but to whom we do not want to rent apartments. The only solution remains squatting” since these people work in Ile-de-France, he adds.