Jean-Luc Boujon, edited by Loane Nader 10:20 am, September 21, 2023

Will mayors soon be less helpless in the face of illegal camps of travellers who settle in their communes? This is in any case the meaning of a bill carried by a deputy of the majority which should be debated before the end of the year. Europe 1 went to a commune that would benefit from this text.

The question of the reception or expulsion of Travellers will return to the National Assembly. The deputy of the majority Ludovic Mendes is at the origin of the bill to strengthen the power of the prefects when populations settle in their communes without authorization and pump municipal resources. In Saint-Georges-de-Reneins in the Rhône, this law would be welcome for its mayor, Patrick Baghdassarian. On May 21, travellers forced the gate and settled on the football field of the town.

"There were 80 caravans that broke in. I said, 'No, I don't agree.' They are connected to electricity, they used water on the fire hydrant. What a delinquent does!" The latter then notified the sub-prefect, who five days later issued him with an expulsion order. If this period was very short, it is in particular because the elected representative put in advance the presence, under the stadium, of a gas line and therefore of a serious potential danger.

>> READ ALSO - INFO EUROPE 1 – Rochefort: police avoid bloody revenge within the Traveller community

"Finally, we let it happen"

However, the next day, the eviction did not take place, as Patrick Baghdassarian explains. "The sub-prefect told me: 'You don't realize, we will have to mobilize three gendarmerie companies and everything.' I said, 'Yes, so what? They are illegal!' So finally, we let it happen. And then, behind us, we had to clean the field and repair everything, they had left us beautiful memories..."

The mayor therefore expresses doubts about the effectiveness of this bill, which is supposed to allow prefects to act faster. "It feels like everything is going to be solved but that's not true. Because, when you're on the ground, when you read that, you tell yourself that we haven't advanced an inch. Because today, if I do not have the gas pipeline, never, I have the expulsion order," he laments, pending the debate on the bill before the end of the year.