FRENCH rail company SNCF has denied reports that they offered free tickets to migrants to travel in France or across the channel to the UK.
An internal memo which was said to outline details of the offer has been clarified by Christophe Piednoel who spoke to Agence France Presse:
“There are no free tickets. These people are checked like other passengers, have to be in possession of a ticket like other passengers and can be fined if they don’t, like other passengers.”
He said that some visitors from other countries don’t understand the need for a reservation as well as a ticket and the charges can cause confusion.
“What was put in place was the possibility of free reservations, so that these (migratory) groups remain together and have numbered seats, which avoid all risk of conflict with other passengers if they sit in seats already reserved.”
The memo which became public detailed “€0 reservations as an exceptional measure” in order to “help the placing of a group on board the train and maintain the comfort of other passengers.”
The Front National President in France, Marine LePen, asked for an explanation from the company and accused them of assisting “people smugglers.”
In the Assemblee National on Wednesday October 14 France’s prime minister, the Socialist Manuel Valls, said “Every passenger has to have a ticket and everyone is subject to the same checks.”