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A newborn child dies on the streets: “we have reached the unspeakable”

Translated Monday 14 November 2011, by Jayne McKenzie and reviewed by Henry Crapo

A homeless woman, living in a tent with her husband in a Parisian street, gave birth to a little girl yesterday. Despite the intervention of fire and ambulance services, the child died, arousing anger on the part of associations.

“If I am elected President, I want to see that, within two years, no-one is forced to sleep on the sidewalk and die from the cold”. That was in 2006, in Charleville-Mézières in The Ardennes, when presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy promised that if he were elected, not one homeless person would be left to sleep on the streets…

On October 31st, the Secretary of State for Housing, Benoist Apparu, faithful lieutenant to the Head of State, confirmed that “there will be no additional emergency lodgings this winter”. Ian Brossat, president of the Communist Group and councillor in Paris for the Left Party says that “Benoist Apparu must be held responsible for the situation of this woman and the death of her child”.

According to an association that monitors homeless deaths, this story “reflects the current policy in terms of reception and lodging. The reduction of funds will only lead to other situations such as this”. “We also wish to express our anger towards a government that is no longer in the position to be able to protect the poorest people”, the association added. They have recorded 280 deaths on the streets since the beginning of the year. According to the group, the couple had only recently been living in a tent on the rue de l’Observatoire in the fourteenth arrondissement in Paris and were not known to the local food distributers. “I think we have reached the unspeakable”, president of the association Christophe Louis said on the radio.

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