London is 'suburb of Paris' and has more crime, says deputy mayor

Anne Hidalgo takes aim at London after new figures show tourists flocking to British capital

LAST UPDATED AT 12:35 ON Mon 20 Jan 2014

LONDON is "a suburb of Paris" and a dangerous, crime-ravaged one at that, lacking business savvy, the deputy mayor of Paris has said. 

Anne Hidalgo's extraordinary attack may have been provoked by Boris Johnson's recent boast that London was "the greatest city on the planet". Then again, it could have been sparked by an article in City AM that warned France's "failed socialist experiment is turning into a tragedy".

Or perhaps Hidalgo, a socialist, is simply a little fraught after a week in which her president has become a global laughing stock.

Either way, Hidalgo's comments are unlikely to go unanswered by Johnson, particularly as the mayor of London is still on a high after recent figures revealed that nearly 4.9 million people visited London between July and September last year, a 20 per cent increase.

But London's popularity has gone down like a French credit rating on the other side of the Channel with Hidalgo letting rip to startled reporters at the Anglo-American Press Association of Paris.

"London is in some ways a suburb of Paris," sniffed the 54-year-old.

Warming to her topic she rubbished Johnson's claims that London was the best city in the world. "Boris Johnson boasts about the merits of London in different way to the French, and Parisians," said Hidalgo. "Like it or not, while London may have attracted more visitors around the Olympic Games, Paris remains the number one world tourist destination, even if we only include foreign visitors and not national ones."

The deputy mayor then turned her attention to crime, saying: "Paris is a safer city than London. There is four times less crime in Paris than in London."

In addition, Paris is more commercially-minded, she claimed, with "more shops opened on Sundays than London, as we have succeeded in saving a network of local shops and markets that London simply doesn't have". And as for business, Paris "creates more start-ups than London".

Hidalgo was obviously playing to the gallery in her attack - the Spanish-born deputy mayor is the Socialist party's candidate in March's Paris mayoral elections but is facing stiff competition from centre-right rising star Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, the 40-year-old UMP candidate whose campaign is gathering momentum.

What Hidalgo didn't mention was the almost weekly series of strikes that in recent months have disrupted the French capital, nor the increasing violence in Paris that last year saw Le Comité Colbert, an organisation of 75 luxury brands, warn that the city was fast gaining a reputation for crime. And not surprisingly she steered clear of talking about the difficulties of trying to hail a cab in Paris after midnight, something that even locals admit is a nightmare.

Nor did she have much to say about the estimated 400,000 French people living in London, most of them fleeing the Socialist government's swingeing 75 per cent tax rate on high earners.

If London is a suburb of Paris then it's très populaire. · 

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Hi,
London is 'suburb of Paris' and has more crime, says deputy
mayor. My favorite city in Europe is Paris I studied in London and the two cities are different. With Monsieur Hidalgo caring about Victor Hugo loaf of bread and his counterpart with Oliver - please sir I want some more giving an age old balance. The flood to London has much to do with the discrepancies of the European Union and not Paris and Monsieur Hidalgo can remain that we will look after things.

London a suburb of Paris? Paris, physically, is not a large city. You could fit all of Paris into a couple of London boroughs. Population and size, London is the largest city in Europe. But the French love to live in jingoistic delusion.

With all due respect the "flood to London" has nothing to do with "discrepancies in Europe" - The French have been coming here for decades - in Good times and bad since before Jacques Chirac. Many Evening standard readers will remember the poll conducted in 2011 showing that Even French people preferred London over Paris - it simply is a more vibrant, interesting city.

The French have been coming here for decades - in Good times and bad since before Jacques Chirac. Many Evening standard readers will remember the poll conducted in 2011 showing that Even French people preferred London over Paris - it is simply is a more vibrant, interesting city.

I am an Indian and have lived in both London and Paris...in fact I spent 3 years in London living in south kensington - one of the poshest most expensive areas of London and I moved to Paris only because crime in London is out of control and British people are the most racist, nasty, worthless scum on this planet. I cant even relate how many racist experiences ive had in London even as a very wealthy well educated and well spoken Indian. Not only are the majority of Brits very racist but worst is that the police and institutions especially UkBA are all highly racist...institutional racism is very high in Uk...if u want to live there as an India u need to either swallow your pride and eat their hatred...or you need to interact with only other foreigners and hire the top lawyers to protect you from institutional racism. Every indian in uk suffers severe racism its a fact but many dont open their mouths because they simply have nowhere else to go...the billionaires dont care as they live in a different world altogether where no one can touch them basically. As for crime in Uk, its disgusting...the minute you step out of kensington, mayfair, belgravia the crime is disgusting....severe anti social behaviour, teens stabbing each other, racist attacks every second ...that country is hell on earth with the worst quality of life and it attracts only the worst of immigrants too. After moving to france my life has been nothing but a fairy tale ....ive already spent 3 years in france and I love the french people, they are sweet, well mannered, civilised, cultured, sophisticated and far more tolerant accepting people than British. Uk only wants aggressive dirty people to come and make money for them...whereas france accepts everyone....the quality of life, food, housing, doctors everything is wayyyy superior in france..and paris has hundred times less crime than London. Ive driven alone all over france, no one has ever bothered me ...the police dont single me out for being a foreigner...nor do the immigration authorities detain and question me in france for no reason like it used to happen in UK. Now the thought of UK also makes me puke....i hate that country and after what ive been through i dont ever want to step foot in Uk again....to hell with such a racist country. Theres a reason why 80 million visitors go to france each year and Uk gets less than a 3rd of that.

London is an ugly aggressive racist crime ridden shithole ...even most British people leave UK at the first given opportunity when they can afford to escape and move to spain or france or some other safe normal country...for those below saying that french have been moving to uk for years...go research your facts see how many french leave france each year compared to how may brits leave UK each year. France has some problems right now but they are much less problems than what Uk has.

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