Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Chirac strikes at homeless

French President Jacques Chirac has pre-empted the campaign debate over homelessness by forming a new Ministry for the Housing Crisis.

PARIS, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- An internationally publicized tent city for the homeless in Paris has led French President Jacques Chirac to create a Ministry for the Housing Crisis.

While the right to housing is a part of the French Constitution, it has not been applied. But in his New Year's address, Chirac said it was a fundamental right equal to education.
Both of Chirac's political challengers, Segolene Royal and Nicolas Sarkozy have expressed support for eradicating homelessness in the country, Paris Link reported. Read more...

With such an uproar over this issue during the past few weeks, one would think that France is facing a homeless crisis. According to this article, the facts beg to differ.
While the issue is getting a lot of domestic media coverage, government statistics estimate there were 86,000 homeless throughout France in 2004, about the same as the number of homeless in Los Angeles.

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