Shocking pictures show Paris streets littered with garbage — sparking a viral hashtag trashing the French capital’s Socialist mayor.
The hashtag #SaccageParis — meaning trashed Paris — has recently gone viral on Twitter as locals share depressing images of the picturesque City of Lights now seemingly overflowing with garbage in some streets.
The “once beautiful city” has been transformed “into a rat-infested garbage pile,” tweeted one of many images of apparent decay, with others showing walls covered in ugly graffiti.
Many of those using the hashtags have taken aim at Socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo, including far-right leader Marine Le Pen.
The “once beautiful city” has been transformed “into a rat-infested garbage pile,” tweeted one of many sharing images of apparent decay.SteveP4435 / Twitter
“The thousands of images shared with the hashtag #SaccageParis break the hearts of lovers of Paris,” Le Pen tweeted.
A green tarp covering trash on the streets of Paris.janviertoscan / Twitter
“The degradation of our beautiful capital by the Hidalgo team is a national suffering that should not leave any French indifferent.”
Former minister Rachida Dati, who unsuccessfully stood against Hidalgo in last year’s elections and heads the city’s 7th district, also said it was “time for Mrs. Hidalgo and her allies to open their eyes to the decline of Paris,” Agence France-Presse (AFP) said.
“The thousands of images shared with the hashtag #SaccageParis break the hearts of lovers of Paris,” Marine Le Pen tweeted.SteveP4435 / Twitter
The viral trend was started by an anonymous Twitter user, @PanamePropre, who said “we no longer accept a Paris that has become dirty and ugly,” AFP said.
Trash littering the shores of a waterway in Paris.SteveP4435 / Twitter
“I never thought it would take this scale,” the account said as the hashtag went viral.
“Yet it is not so surprising. The current disaster cannot continue without a massive reaction. We are thousands to say STOP! Behind this hashtag… there are just ordinary locals,” @PanamePropre tweeted Saturday.
Trash seen scattered around in the capitol of France.figeac1_ / Twitter
Hidalgo’s administration admitted that the city’s cleaning teams were down by around 10 percent due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, it insisted the hashtag was a “smear campaign,” claiming that people were posting old photos, or deliberately taking ones before cleaning crews could make garbage collections.
“Like all cities in France, Paris is faced with incivility and problems of regulating public space,” city hall said.
Socialist Senator Rémi Féraud also insisted it was a “well-organized propaganda operation relayed by a few anonymous Twitter accounts, and by no means the voice of Parisians.”