‘You are not welcome in this town’: Far-Right mayor causes outrage in France as he is filmed trying to evict family of Syrian refugees from his town
- French mayor stormed into squat telling refugees ‘you are not welcome’
- Video shows Robert Menard confronting a refugee using a translator
- Opponents immediately branded his intervention as brutal and insensitive
Robert Menard, a politician linked to the National Front party in Beziers, is shown marching into a squat surrounded by police, including an armed guard.
Angry that the refugees have allegedly broken in, 62-year-old Mr Menard uses a translator to say: ‘You are not welcome in this town. You came in this apartment breaking the door.’
He adds: ‘You are stealing the water. People are paying for the water, but you are stealing electricity and water.
‘I’m saying it again: you are not welcome in this town. If you behave correctly, you are welcome, but not if you behave like this.’
But Mr Menard tells him that he has no interest in refugees who ‘break in’ to properties, and tells him that he can ‘go where he likes’.
Mr Menard then launches into other tirades, one in front of a father, his wife, and at least one young child.
‘You will be welcome only if you respect the rules of this country, and this town,’ Mr Menard said.
Opponents immediately branded Mr Menard’s intervention as brutal and insensitive because the refugees have no money and nowhere to go.
Aime Couquet, another local politician, accused the mayor of ‘acting illegally’, saying: ‘You need a court order to expel someone.’
Mr Couquet said anti-immigrant hatred was being stirred up by Mr Menard, whose town hall magazine was last week caught fabricating a photograph to create the impression of a migrant ‘invasion’ under the headline: ‘They are coming’.
Earlier this month, another influential French Mayor caused outrage by saying only Christian refugees should be accepted in the country to avoid an influx of ‘disguised terrorists’.
Yves Nicolin, who is also an MP, spoke as European countries including Britain prepared to welcome thousands of new migrants from war-torn countries such as Syria.
This led to Mr Nicolin, the 52-year-old Republican MP for the Loire, being described as a ‘Nazi’ on social media.
Such insults have also been aimed at Mr Menard, who was accused of evoking memories of the Holocaust by calling for children’s names to be examined so as to establish how many are Muslims.