On the eve of the Olympic Games, the French capital does have to deal with a lot of problems. For example, for several years now, Paris has been shaken by the “yellow vests” protests. The demands are purely economic. At some point, these protests brought France to the brink of civil war. The “wave” seems to have been contained, but whether it will last is an open question.
What is more serious, however, are the protests by young people of Arab and African descent in response to the shameful incident in which a French policeman shot and killed a “suspicious” teenager of Algerian descent. They did not question aloud whether the officer would have shot if the suspect had been a pure-blooded Frenchman. Because they knew the answer too well.
And that is not all. On the eve of the Olympic Games, the French capital is facing problems that are not even normally discussed “in practical terms” in 21st century Europe. Paris, the world capital of glamor and chic, is faced with… a bedbug infestation. No one knows what to do with this scourge. They could call private pest exterminators, but this is not a solution. There is no solution in sight.
Finally, this summer Paris city authorities had to admit defeat in the fight… against rats. “Gray-tailed” population of the French capital is growing so rapidly that neither “anti-rat” garbage bins, nor rat poison, nor other traditional measures are helping. It was then, in early summer, that Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo commissioned a new way of dealing with rats that would be both “effective” and ” tolerant” for Parisians, but without the old anti-rat plan with the installation of airtight garbage cans and the widespread use of rat poison. Translation: Parisians were asked to learn to “coexist with rats.” There is also a ready explanation of why this happened: of course, quite in the style of Greta Thunberg, the Paris city authorities blame the growth of the rat population on global warming.
Global warming is a convenient but hardly convincing excuse. Paris, according to many, is just swamped with garbage. And where there is garbage, there are rats. Rats and bedbugs, moreover, are not the result of “global warming,” but of the unsatisfactory work of the city authorities. That is the Anne Hidalgo, who took the time to travel to Armenia and pose in front of trucks labeled “Aid to Artsakh”, but failed to find enough energy, or qualifications, or something else to fix the pressing issues of the French capital.
It is easy to guess how all this affects the image of Paris on the eve of the Olympics. Clearly, the athletes and the fans of “insufficiently European origin” are concerned about the level of racism and Islamophobia in France. Clearly, the tourists and the athletes are concerned about having to face bedbugs and rats in Paris. But why did the French authorities choose to blame Azerbaijan for all these misfortunes? Why do they say that it was our country that decided to “tarnish the image” of Paris on the eve of the Olympics?
Do they seriously believe on the banks of the Seine that Azerbaijan gave each participant in the “yellow vests” protest a bucket of caviar? Or that the government’s social policy, which drove people into the streets, was written not in Paris, but in Baku, and with the sole purpose of harming France? Are the authorities of the Fifth Republic sure that Islamophobic police officers are following the assignments of Azerbaijani special services and not French political traditions? Finally, is the Élysée Palace convinced that bedbugs, rats and Anne Hidalgo, who simply failed to handle the role of the mayor, were brought to Paris from Baku? Jokes aside, this is a classic case of a bad workman blaming his tools.
Translated from Minval.az