Paris Decries Social Media ‘Smear Campaign’ Highlighting Dirty Streets

This picture taken on September 22, 2019 shows piles of garbage bags in a street with the

Paris’s city government has criticised a “smear campaign” after a hashtag spread among French social media users showed pictures of the capital with garbage piled up on the streets.

The hashtag “#saccageparis” which translates to “trashed Paris”, was denounced by the French capital’s local government as Twitter users posted pictures of the city showing rubbish covering streets and other areas.

“Like all cities in France, Paris is faced with incivility and problems of regulating public space,” the official Paris city Twitter account stated, and claimed that many photos had been posted before cleaning teams had dealt with issues, noting that 2,500 personnel clean the streets of the city “every day”.

However, the account did admit that due to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, the number of cleaning staff in Paris had been reduced by ten per cent and said that the reduction might lead to some delays for cleaning.

Populist National Rally (RN) leader Marine Le Pen commented on the hashtag, saying: “The thousands of images shared with the hashtag #SaccageParis break the hearts of lovers of Paris. Bravo to the revolted Parisians!”

“The degradation of our beautiful capital by the Hidalgo team is a national suffering that should not leave any of the French indifferent,” she added.

In an interview with broadcaster RTL on Tuesday, Paris’s first deputy mayor Emmanuel Gregoire admitted, “yes, cleanliness has always been a problem in Paris,” but still claimed the hashtag was a “political attack”.

The campaign is just the latest in which Parisians have complained about how the local government under leftist Mayor Anne Hidalgo has been running the city in recent years.

Residents of the 17th district of Paris went as far as threatening to take security matters into their own hands earlier this year after complaining that the government and police were not doing enough to stop growing crime levels.

Locals also criticised the government in October of last year after the announcement that the Hidalgo administration would be looking at opening “shooting rooms” for crack addicts.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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