Monday, September 26, 2016

First visit to Calais to François Hollande – The Point

Calais is the city of this school year. After Nicolas Sarkozy, it is the turn of Francois Hollande to travel to the sub-prefecture of the Pas-de-Calais, where the camp of the “Jungle” is growing. This displacement of a few hours, the first of his five-year term in Calais, occurs in a context of tension.

The head of State will meet with during the visit, the police, elected officials, business leaders and association representatives. No sequence is provided in contrast to the camp of the Moor (its official name) where are piled up between 7 000 and 10 000 people, according to the counts. “Our belief is that on this topic, it is possible to appeal to the reason of the people. These are subjects of very great complexity, with a very high sensitivity, but behind the wager policies, the hubbub in the media, it is possible to explain things”, do we want to believe at the Elysée palace, which anticipates a “speech balance” of the head of State.

see ALSO : Coignard – The pilgrimage to Calais

“A whopper a day”

Saturday, already, François Hollande had stated his intention to “dismantle Calais all the way” and assured that France would “not a country of camps”, on the occasion of a visit to Tours in one of the 164 centres of welcome and orientation (CAO) open to accommodate the evacuated migrants in Calais, and Paris. This trip to Calais, which was originally expected this summer, had been postponed because of the attacks of Nice and Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, according to the entourage of the head of State. François Baroin, the support of Nicolas Sarkozy, however, is “not normal” François Hollande is not gone “earlier”.

The visit comes within the context of the controversy growing about the distribution of the migrants of Calais, for which the State seeks to create 9,000 new places in CAD by the end of the year. The government may well appeal to national solidarity, and Bernard Cazeneuve, repeating that the size of the centres will be proportionate to capacity. Here and there, on the ground, opponents are mobilizing in the districts concerned. Saturday still, hundreds of people marched to Versailles and Louveciennes (Yvelines) against the proposed installation of welcome centers.

And even if the protests remain only a few many of the projects involved, their media coverage is intense, heightened by the accusations of the national Front. A party of the right has engaged behind the acting chairman of the party, The Republicans, Laurent Wauquiez, waving the cloth “mini-Calais” or “mini-camps”. On the government side, the threat is leap : “we have to stop with the strategy a whopper per day“, was launched Friday, the minister of the Interior.

12 migrants died

Bernard Cazeneuve had announced the dismantling of the Jungle during his previous visit in early September to Calais, while the transporters and business leaders of the area, infuriated by the intrusion, repeated on the ring road, had decided an operation snail on the highway. The dismantling also aims to put an end to a humanitarian situation is extremely deteriorated on this campsite in crowded conditions, where the climate of tensions is growing. A situation which also translates into a heavy human toll : since the beginning of the year 2016, twelve migrants have died in the Calaisis, of which five are struck on the bypass port.

The presidential visit will take place in a electric climate, in the middle of building a concrete wall “anti-intrusion” which was supposed to prevent migrants from riding in trucks and make it to the port to join Britain. The city’s mayor, Natacha Bouchart (LR), which had become hostile recently to the construction of this wall, threatened Friday to take if necessary a “stop interrupting” of this work. However, “the prefecture may override” this order does not apply, she said. In an open letter, the associations of migrant assistance, including Doctors of the World, are calling on François Hollande to “get out of a logical manager” of the crisis, and wish that his coming “is the occasion for a loud announcement: (…) the need to welcome the people that come to us for protection.”


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