CALAIS has issued an emergency decree banning the distribution of food to Britain-bound migrants stranded in the northern port town.
By Daily Express, published : 13:47, Fri, Mar 3, 2017
VIDEO: Resident of Calais speaks out
The town’s mayor Natacha Bouchart, who has vowed to wage a relentless war against the refugees, said that she did not want Calais to become the “focal point” of the European migrant crisis and that locals had “already suffered enough”, according to La Voix du Nord.
The hardline official said that the “repeated, prolonged gatherings”– i.e., the distribution of food to migrants – posed a “threat to the peace and security of the area,” before adding that the ban would help prevent “violent acts and disorderly conduct and nuisances”.
A handful of charities, including Secours Catholique and l’Auberge des Migrants, have returned to Calais less than five months after more than 7,000 refugees were evacuated from the notorious ‘Jungle’ tent camp; which has since been razed to the ground by the authorities.
Charity officials, who have been forced to feed UK-bound migrants ‘in secret’ – local authorities announced in November that they would be adopting a ‘zero tolerance’ policy against returning migrants – said yesterday that they would “ignore” the mayoral decree, but seek legal aid.
The bitter tug-of-war between local officials and pro-immigrant charities started earlier this year, weeks after it came to light that more than 400 migrants had returned to the port town in the hope of reaching the UK.
Charities have been forced to feed migrants in secret after Ms Bouchart vowed to crack down on them
Charities, who claim that “migrants have nothing to eat or drink and nowhere to sleep” and are on the brink of famine, have tried to persuade the French government to open a small migrant reception centre in Calais, but to no avail.
Interior minister Bruno Le Roux said during a visit to the border town on Wednesday that the opening of an emergency shelter would only “encourage” more migrants to return, but said, however, that the government “would not prevent the distribution of meals”.