Calais (AFP) – The French and British interior ministers, Bernard Cazeneuve and Theresa May, came together Thursday at the entrance to the Channel Tunnel to mean “that we can not cross the border” illegally between the two countries, while a very strong migratory pressure on the EU, particularly in Calais.
The two governments made public at the same time a new plan to focus on security the tunnel entrance. It also includes a humanitarian component for migrants “vulnerable” funded with 10 million euros over two years by the British, the bulk of the effort was far on the punitive aspect. Since early June, nine migrants died, according to the prefecture, while trying to reach England.
However, local humanitarian associations sharply criticized the agreement, saying it did not address anything about the background. UNHCR, which had called for the end of August to France a “comprehensive plan” welcomed this time a “mutual agreement”.
The plan was not to the liking of either a few hundred migrants, who have demonstrated to the camp of the “new jungle” near Calais before reaching the port bypass, where some tried to climb into trucks under the eye of the CRS.
Sign determination European, Prime Minister Manuel Valls will come to Calais on August 31, accompanied by two special Commissioners, Frans Timmermans and Dimitris Avramopoulos.
“There must be a very strong signal is sent here in Calais that we can not pass the border that we manage jointly, as part of an absolutely exemplary cooperation between our two countries. Traffickers should know that there is no possible transition here in Calais, “insisted Bernard Cazeneuve, upon his arrival at the Eurotunnel site with Ms. May, for the first time on this site. It praised “great quality of cooperation” with Paris in this file.
Significant results have already been achieved with the division “ten”, according to Mr Cazeneuve, intrusion attempts in the tunnel, some 2,000 daily fell from late July to 100-200 these days.
The duo took aim especially to “criminal gangs” couriers need “break”, has launched Ms. May, Mr. Cazeneuve stigmatizing a “nefarious traffic that leads to human tragedies, deaths”.
The two ministers visited in the morning the security control room of the vast site Eurotunnel and met the forces of both countries. In Calais they even exchanged with local elected officials and have been explaining the operation of Jules Ferry visitor center, which adjoins the camp of the “New Jungle”.
On the humanitarian front, the Franco-British agreement provides, through an extension of 10 million euros, to “intensify the observation” of migrants to “identify the most vulnerable and potential victims of trafficking,” and to provide “capacity housing “.
For asylum seekers, London” will provide assistance (…) for the establishment of dedicated accommodation, located at a significant distance from Calais. ” It is also to “reduce migratory pressure” locally.
“It’s always good to take, but people do not ask to have better conditions in the slums, they want to build their lives somewhere in Europe, “responded Philip Wannesson, blog author Passeurs hospitality
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As for safety, Britain will also bring” sophisticated ways, “said Mr. Cazeneuve during a press conference with Ms. May. “More video surveillance” among others, she said.
A new control room will be created and additional freight excavation teams will be deployed 24h / 24 and 7/7 .
“It disfigures the Calais with barriers that denounced in Africa or Spain”, criticized Jean-Claude Lenoir, president of the Association Salam, which provides meals to migrants.
All these measures satisfy however the CEO of Eurotunnel, Jacques Gounon, welcoming the “extremely clear support for the work of Eurotunnel’s teams.” The Mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart has also welcomed the “strengthening” of security measures, while continuing to seek “compensation for the territory.”
Bernard Cazeneuve was in stride travel to Berlin meet in the evening his counterpart Thomas de Maizière, who announced Wednesday that Germany expected this year “up to 800,000 asylum seekers”, an absolute record for this country of 81 million people.
In July, the number of arrivals of migrants on the coasts of Europe reached a record level of 107,500, representing a tripling year on year, according to the European agency Frontex. Thursday, Macedonia declared a state of emergency because of “massive illegal crossings from Greece”.