AFTER the meeting in France between Home Secretary Amber Rudd and French authorities, the immediate response was for a range of French protestors in the Calais area including the mayor to protest about the ‘Jungle’ which contains up to 7,000 migrants and/or asylum seekers, all desperate to get to Britain and to cause major hold ups for traffic in the area.
So determined are those living in the ‘Jungle’ to get themselves across the Channel that they have taken to physically blocking roads at night with cut down trees so that those who have paid them can try to smuggle themselves onto stalled lorries.
The French protestors have simply had enough as they want to see the camp closed although the question remains what will happen to those who are evicted and also what’s to stop them and many more returning.
There have been brave words from the two governments about tightening security and increasing humanitarian aid, although it is suspected that the French could well demand the removal of British customs and immigration checks in France and their return to the UK which would mean that Britain would inherit those currently in Calais.
It has been announced however that Britain will fund the building of a 13 foot wall covering a one kilometre area around the port at a reported cost of £2 million (€2.38 million) in order to keep migrants out, although that may not please local residents and demonstrators who may consider that it will make matters worse in Calais.
In the meantime, the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo has announced that Paris will open its first refugee camp which will house 400 male migrants during October with a separate camp for women and children following by the end of the year.
With so many people living on the streets, Paris wants to see them in better conditions, without causing problems for or complaints from tourists and residents.
A separate building for some 200 migrants which was earmarked to open in October, some 30 kilometres from the centre of the capital was the scene of a protest meeting about its use on September 5 and then within a matter of hours, it was burnt down!
With French authorities budgeting to spend some €6.5 million to build refuges for the migrants, which would only allow fairly short stays, the problem may temporarily be removed from the streets but as numbers increase and the notoriously irascible French protest, it is just possible that there will eventually be some form of violent clashes in Paris.