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Τρίτη, 1 Μαρτίου 2016

Clashes Break Out At French Migrant Camp


Efforts by French authorities to clear and dismantle the migrant settlement outside of Calais, whose population now numbers up to five thousand, led to violence overnight as residents protested their treatment (BBC). Police responded with tear gas after demolition crews were pelted with stones, several shelters were set ablaze, and some migrants attempted to halt traffic on a nearby highway. French activists have joined migrants in a sit-in protest (Guardian), refusing to leave the roofs of their shelters. Meanwhile, nearby Belgium has turned back six hundred migrants (France24) fleeing Calais since the country reinstated border controls with France a week ago. The French government has said all migrants will be resettled.


"For migrants in Calais, the UK is their best chance to rebuild a normal life. Many of them speak at least a little English, and some have relatives in Britain. Others believe their chances of finding employment are better in the UK than in France, and that the environment is generally more welcoming to refugees," writes Naomi Sharp in the Atlantic.

"That is partly what makes Calais so troubling: it isn’t too big to solve. Yet no one has a proper plan to sort it out. Not the French or British governments, the UN or the big aid agencies," argues British politician Yvette Cooper in the Guardian.

"The escalation in tensions, coming as temperatures dropped sharply, reflects the fact that many of the migrants here feel they have reached a dead end in their search for sanctuary. Now one of the largest slums in Europe—with conditions arguably worse than those in many refugee camps in the developing world—the Jungle has come to represent the ongoing failure of the European Union," writes Naina Bajekal in Time.

CFR-Daily News Brief