France’s Hollande visits Calais after vowing to close ‘jungle’
Hollande is due to arrive at 8am for a visit that comes just days after one by his conservative predecessor Sarkozy – who is hoping to make a comeback as president, with a harsh line on migration a key part of his campaign.
Hollande will meet with city and law enforcement officials, but is not scheduled to visit the camp itself.
Migration has been a low-key issue under Hollande’s four-year-old presidency.
But he has been forced to take a visible stance on the issue, under pressure from brash right-winger Sarkozy and far-right leader Marine Le Pen.
Each are promoting platforms of security, patriotism and national interest in early campaigning for next year’s elections.
Under pressure from the right wing, Hollande last Saturday stepped up his own pledge to combat illegal migration, promising to “completely dismantle” the “Jungle” camp.
His government has said this will happen “before winter” and a flurry of preparations underway there suggest the operation may begin shortly.
But plans to relocate the migrants have sparked controversy and protests, with local residents in areas where new shelters could be established vehemently opposed to the move.
The “Jungle” camp has also become a sore point in relations between France and Britain.
© AFP | Workers dig the foundations of a wall near the Calais migrant “Jungle” camp on September 20, 2016 to stop migrants from jumping on lorries bound for Britain
Last week, building work began on a British-funded wall to clamp down on repeated attempts by migrants to stow away on trucks heading for Britain.
Rights groups have also strongly criticised the difficulties and dangers facing the up to 10,000 migrants living in the camp, with a 14-year-old Afghan boy killed by a car just last week as he tried to get onto a truck.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
Donald Trump’s Border Wall Still Sound Crazy? — Britain and Norway Building Walls — Eastern Europe About To Get A Border Guard Force as EU “Open Borders” Seems To Have Failed — Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic To Deploy EU Border Guard Force
Border wall/fence — Bulgaria’s frontier to Turkey
Obama Legacy: America’s middle class is headed toward extinction (Read the Associated Press)
Tags: Britain, British, British-funded wall, Calais, France, Francois Hollande, immigration, jungle, Marine Le Pen, migrants, new shelters, refugees, Sarkozy, Wall, wall to stop migrants from jumping on lorries bound for Britain