Paris to open two new migrant camps for THOUSANDS of UK-bound migrants
THOUSANDS of UK-bound migrants will be able to move into Paris's first two official refugee camps by the end of September, the city's Mayor announced. By PETER ALLEN Mayor Ann Hidalgo said they will be located close to
THOUSANDS of UK-bound migrants will be able to move into Paris’s first two official refugee camps by the end of September, the city’s Mayor announced.
By PETER ALLEN
Mayor Ann Hidalgo said they will be located close to the Gare du Nord Eurostar terminal from where high speed trains travel direct to London.
Ms Hidalgo, a Socialist who is a close ally of President Francois Hollande, said: “There will be two migrant camps, one for men only, and one for women and children.”
She went on to say that up to 100 new migrants a day were currently arriving in Paris, and that the vast majority wanted to get to Calais, and then on to the UK.
It comes as the right-wing council in Calais, 185 miles away, lobbies to destroy its own ‘Jungle’ refugee camp.
There are currently some 10,000 migrants sleeping rough in the northern port town, but leaders of the conservative Republic Party want the camp razed, or moved across the Channel to Dover.
This means that the two opening in Paris will become immensely popular, and are likely to become a magnet for thousands more asylum seekers from all over the world.
The trains between Paris and Calais are already full of migrants at all times, with the police finding it increasingly difficult to stop them getting on board.
Ms Hidalgo told France Inter radio station that work on the camps was well underway at undisclosed locations “near the Garde du Nord and boulevard de la Chapelle”.
They will include beds, washing and cooking facilities, and fresh running water for those who arrive from war-torn countries such as Afghanistan, Eritrea and Syria.
Advice will also be handed out on everything from health to claiming asylum. Many will only be hoping to stay in France temporarily before they continue their journeys to the UK, where they will apply to stay for good.
The French capital is already inundated with migrants who sleep rough in city parks, or under flyovers or railway bridges.
Riot police regularly destroy their illegal settlements, but it is impossible to move them on because even if they are dispersed in coaches, they almost always come back again.
Khalif, a 26-year-old originally from Jalalabad, in Afghanistan, who is now in a squat close to the Gare du Nord, said: “All we want is a home.”
He also said he was “extremely pleased” with the chance to move into one of the new camps.
“It will give us a good base to sort out our journey to England,” he said. “Finding food and warmth is not too hard in Paris, but we need somewhere official.”
Home Secretary Amber Rudd was in Paris on Tuesday, when she and her French counterpart, Bernard Cazeneuve, pledged “close co-operation” in dealing with the growing migrant crisis.
But there are fears that the French are becoming increasingly frustrated with having to deal with thousands of migrants who simply want to go to Britain.
There are presidential elections in the Spring, and if the right-wing Republicans are elected then they could try to force the populations of all the refugees camps in France across to Britain.