Paris mayor defends record after 'dirty city' report

Anne Hidalgo insists every Parisian has a role to play in making the city gleam again

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has defended her record on public sanitation after an article in the British press damned the French capital with the title 'the dirtiest city in Europe'.

"We can't plan for a refuse collector to be behind every Parisian," she said in an interview on France Inter. "It's a problem of education. Everything must be taken back to the beginning: respect for others, for their environment, for the place where they live. We work with schools, at the neighbourhood level. Everyone must do their bit.

"We have added staff everywhere, we have set up cleanliness emergency teams. There is an application called Dans ma rue, which allows Parisians to report and photograph bulky items, triggering an immediate intervention.

"I have been the mayor who put in additional resources: we are now at almost €600million of municipal public spending on the cleanliness of our streets."

She admitted that she was "obviously not satisfied with the situation", following the article in the Guardian newspaper.

"I think that it is now necessary, beyond the means that the municipality puts in place, that each citizen takes care of themselves and their city."

Her comments were backed up by the journalist who wrote the original article. In a tweet, Kim Willsher said: "Too easy to point the finger at Anne Hidalgo and the Paris City Hall... As the article explains, the biggest problem is people's behaviour."

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