France to evacuate Calais camp, resettle migrants

The controversial migrant camp in the northern French city of Calais is to be dismantled and its inhabitants redistributed to migrant reception centres around France, French media reported Tuesday.

According to the daily Le Figaro citing the Interior Ministry, 12,000 new places for migrants are to be created by the end of the year around the country.

The only regions of France not to receive migrants from Calais are the Paris region and the island of Corsica, both of which already have tense housing situations for migrants.

The policy has been criticized by the hard-right National Front party, which was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying that moving the migrants from Calais to other cities and villages would be irresponsible.

Migrants have assembled for years at Calais where they attempt to move illegally over the channel to Britain, often attempting to do so by climbing on top of commercial vehicles travelling through the nearby underground Eurotunnel.

Earlier this month, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced that the Calais camp would finally be cleared, but did not name a date.

French authorities have said there are 6,900 people at the camp, while aid organizations say the number has surpassed 9,000. Some 1,900 live in state-financed containers, while the rest reside in makeshift shelters.

Last update: Tue, 13/09/2016 - 20:17

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