Paris officials sleep outside in frigid weather

Braving an Arctic blast sweeping across Europe, about two dozen officials from the Paris region have spent a frigid night outdoors to call attention to the plight of the homeless.

Snow began falling before they closed their eyes early Thursday near the Austerlitz train station. The city was blanketed in white by daybreak.

Dragging blankets and sleeping bags, numerous officials, from an array of political parties, wore their blue, white and red sashes, France’s national colors, denoting their status.

At least 13 homeless have died in the Paris region since Jan. 1.

Mama Si, deputy mayor of Etampes, south of Paris, and organizer, said that “it’s out of the question” that the 6,000 places opened for the homeless because of frigid weather disappear when temperatures rise.