France threatens squatters with three years in jail

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  • Macron's deputies toughen the law with the support of conservatives and the extreme right, while the left opposes it

France threatens squatters will be sentenced to three years in prison

The French National Assembly approved the This Friday a bill will toughen the rules against home occupations, with an increase in sentences from one to three years in prison and fines from 15,000 to 45,000 euros. The measure is part of an initiative by the parliamentary bloc that supports President Emmanuel Macron. The change stuck. It was approved at first reading with 40 votes in favor and 13 against, thanks to the support of the deputies from the conservative group Los Republicanos and the far-right National Group of Marine Le Pen.

The new regulations makes it easier for landlords to take legal action against squatters and tenants who don't pay their rent. It is a problem that affects some 288,000 households, according to the National Family Allowance Fund, but it could grow due to the rise in inflation.

Guillaume Kasbarian, the main promoter of this proposal, he stressed during the debates in the National Assembly that the regulations protect small landowners who are not “swimming in gold”. The changes were opposed by left-wing forces such as La Francia Insumisa (LFI), which the ruling party reproaches for wanting to “protect the squatters.”

Criticism of the change

For progressive forces, this bill is contrary to the right to housing, especially in a context of the already complicated real estate market. They warn that it will take time. This has led to an increase in homelessness.

The regulations will also tighten the number of homeless people. the penalties against criminals who illegally rent to squattersother people's houses. In addition, a termination clause is stipulated as mandatory in rental contracts, so that the eviction process is accelerated by limiting the margin with which judges can apply the term Tenants in default have, which can last up to three years.

The promoters of this legislative amendment insist that 64% of owners have only one home for rent. and a third of the total are pensioners. The rule, in any case, has aroused strong controversy and even a former Minister of Housing in Macron's first term, Emmanuelle Wargon, warned against it. So the balance that was achieved here could be broken. with a last legislative reform. Wargon argued that each year there are only about 200 cases of squatting, which with the reform adopted in 2020 can be dealt with, and at the same time the evictions of tenants have been contained. < /p>