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French President Emmanuel Macron arrived Tuesday in Tourcoing, one of France’s poorest cities, where he is set to outline his plans to fight urban poverty.

Create jobs, increase access to social services and prevent workplace discrimination. Macron arrived in the northern city of Tourcoing on Tuesday, after visiting nearby Roubaix and the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois the previous day, to announce his plans to fight poverty and stimulate development in some of France’s poorest urban and suburban areas.

Macron’s visits came amid accusations of being “a president of the rich”, following his decisions to cut France’s wealth tax, loosen labour laws and reduce housing aid.

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His first stop, Clichy-sous-Bois, was as symbolic as it was political. In 2005, the Parisian suburb was the scene of violent riots after two teenage boys were electrocuted to death as they ran from police. The unrest prompted the government to invest some 670 million euros in the suburb, one of the largest urban renewal projects in French history.

Macron spoke with residents and took selfies as he toured the area, stopping at a community centre along the way and meeting Clichy-sous-Bois Mayor Olivier Klein. He reaffirmed the government’s plan to extend the Paris underground transport network. The new line 16 is set to pass through the suburb. Currently under construction, it is slated to open in 2024.

The northern city of Roubaix was his second stop Monday night. He again met with residents before dining with local community groups.    Read more