Interior minister Manuel Valls, the “number one cop” of France, denies ordering the local police to clear the homeless and tramps of the district near the Right Bank Place de la Bastille so that his wife can shop in peace. Tramps and homeless people have frequented the Rue De la Roquette area near the Bastille opera for years. The place is a magnet for tourists and young people who dine at its cheap restaurants and bars.
Police surrounded the area, cleared the tramps and homeless from the district, and the police placed them in the precinct. One tramp said that they were promised to stay in the precinct for only 4pm and 8pm. When asked by locals and other citizens, the police responded that it was by the orders of the Interior Minister.
However, Valls says that the police responded to the requests of high politicians and other local citizens who have petitioned to have the area cleared of the tramps three months past. The overdue promise was taken action only at a time that he and his wife were shopping. However, critics do not believe the Interior Minister’s statement.
Critics say that it is not the first case of politicians using the police to please one’s wife. Charles de Gaulle had the Plae de la Madelaine cleared of prostitutes for his wife, who would be shopping in the food stores of Fauchon or Hediart.