• France's news in English

Eurotunnel migrant activity down overnight

AFP · 1 Aug 2015, 10:23

Published: 01 Aug 2015 10:23 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Overnight Thursday French authorities faced more than 1,000 attempts by migrants camped out in the port of Calais to reach the Channel tunnel overnight.
France has sent 120 additional police officers to the northern port city to stem the crisis, as the number of deaths since June reached 10.
A spokesman for Eurotunnel has said there was "much less disruption" since the reinforcements arrived to bolster the 300-strong police contingent already stationed in the city.
At least four coaches of riot police were guarding the entrance to the tunnel on Friday.
The situation appears to have calmed in recent days, after migrants made more than 2,000 daily attempts to breach the defences earlier in the week.
Late Friday the first attempts under cover of the gathering darkness began at around 9:00 pm (1900 GMT) when a group managed to access the embarkment lanes before being chased off by police.
At around 2:00 am Saturday some 150 migrants were escorted back towards Calais.
In such cases the vast majority seeking to get over to Britain will just hide away again and await another chance to sneak over.
One man died in the early hours of Wednesday, apparently crushed by a lorry as he tried to make it into the tunnel.

"I didn't make it into the station this time... It was very difficult, there was much more security than on previous days," said 20-year-old Reza from Afghanistan, rubbing his eyes after a short night's sleep as he stepped out of his tent.
"We didn't have a chance last night. There were too many policemen, even more than before," said Baby, 27, from Eritrea, who has been in camping out in Calais for more than two years.
A police source said that, while the reinforcements had helped, “the pressure of the migrants is still there" and the "situation remains difficult to deal with".
However, this source said there had been far fewer migrants managing to enter the Eurotunnel platforms and get on the train shuttles going to England.
During the night, an AFP journalist saw people descend onto the railways close to the Eurotunnel site only to be halted by police.
At least a dozen made it past the cordon, but ran straight into a second line of officers waiting a hundred metres (yards) further down the line.

Migrants trying to evade roadblocks set up by French gendarmes inside the Eurotunnel site. Photo: Philippe Huguen
Around 3,000 people from countries including Syria and Eritrea are waiting in Calais as they try to cross into Britain illegally by clambering on board lorries and trains.
Adding to the Calais difficulties, hundreds of French sailors blocked the city on Friday, using burning tyres to prevent access to the port in the midst of the peak holiday travel period.
The roughly 300 workers from French company Scop SeaFrance are protesting against plans to sell off some of their ferries to rival Danish firm DFDS, a move expected to result in hundreds of job losses.
Jean-Marc Puissesseau, president of the port of Calais, on Friday branded the latest action "the straw that broke the camel's back", and accused authorities of "abandoning" the port.

The crisis has become a hot political issue on both sides of the Channel and British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande discussed the issue by phone.
"They both expressed concern about the immediate security challenges and reiterated their commitment to continue working closely together to tackle the problems posed by illegal migration," a statement from Cameron's office said.
Cameron promised "more fencing, more resources, more sniffer dog teams" to aid French police after holding a meeting of his government's COBRA emergency committee on Friday on the crisis, which he warned could last all summer.
Critics dismissed the measures as inadequate, with the chief executive of the Road Haulage Association Richard Burnett describing fences and dogs as "just sticking plasters".
Cameron has also come under fire for controversial comments on the crisis that has dominated British media all week, with furious truck drivers blocked
on the English side of the channel.
Speaking on a visit to Vietnam, Cameron referred to a "swarm of people” wanting to come to his country to seek better lives and find employment.
The prime minister's comments earned him criticism from acting opposition Labour Party leader Harriet Harman, who said Cameron should "remember he is
talking about people, not insects".
The Refugee Council, a leading British charity which works with asylum seekers, said it was "awful, dehumanising language from a world leader".
London has pledged £7 million (10 million euros, $11 million) to improve fencing around the Eurotunnel rail terminal at Coquelles, northern France.
Cameron also said that defence ministry land would be used to park trucks waiting to cross to Calais.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
France given wake up call as it bids for Brexit business
The business district 'La Defense' in Paris. Photo: AFP

France clearly has some work to do if it really wants to pinch business from the UK post-Brexit.

Mouth fun? French words you just can't translate literally
Do you know the French word for throat-support? Photo: AFP

Word of warning: Don't translate French literally.

How France plans to help its stressed-out police force
Yellow smoke rises around French police officers in Paris holding a banner reading "Solidarity with our colleagues, police angry". All photos: AFP

Could these measures stop the cops from protesting?

'3,000 migrants dispersed' after 'Jungle' clearance
Photo: AFP

While thousands of migrants have been bussed out around France, new ones are arriving all the time and thousands of others have simply been dispersed aid agencies say.

Fifteen of the most bizarre laws in France
Photo: Matthew Powell/Flickr

A must read for anyone who wants to stay on the right side of the law in France.

Medieval town in south of France upholds ban on UFOs
The town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Photo: Aa77zz/Flickr

Aliens take note.

American tourist dies at French Riviera sex club
The Riviera resort of Cannes. Photo: AFP

American tourist reportedly fell five floors after being pushed outside the underground sex club in Cannes.

Paris: 'Flying' water taxis to be tested on River Seine
Photo: SeaBubbles

An in Seine idea surely? But tests will go ahead.

France joins fight for rich pickings from post-Brexit UK
Photo: AFP/DcnH/Flickr

France tries to woo EU's bank regulator and other agencies.

How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available