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French police evict migrants from makeshift camp next to Paris City Hall

POLICE evicted migrants from a makeshift tent camp next to the Paris City Hall early today,in the latest clear-out of homeless people that aid groups allege is a campaign to beautify the French capital ahead of the summer Olympics.

In an operation that began before dawn, police woke around 100 teenage boys and young men from West Africa, telling them to pack their tents and belongings.

Paris region officials told the men, many of them minors and in the process of seeking residency papers, that they could be housed temporarily in Angers, a city 150 miles away in the Loire region, if they wished. 

A bus was waiting in a nearby street to take them first to a transit centre.

But many of the homeless said they feared being abandoned in Angers once the promised three weeks of accommodation ran out. 

Many also have impending court cases in Paris on their residency requests.

“It’s a never-ending cycle,” said Antoine de Clerck, a spokesman for the Revers de la Medaille group, whose name translates as “the other side of the medal.”

He added: “We call it social cleansing to make room for the beautiful Paris postcard.”

Support groups working with migrants and other vulnerable people say clear-outs are intensifying ahead of the Olympics , which begin in late July. 

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