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DECISION RE JUNGLE SHOPS AND RESTAURANTS DUE ON FRIDAY - key points from report on today's Court hearing: 10th August 2016

posted 31 Aug 2016, 14:26 by Chris Cox   [ updated 31 Aug 2016, 14:26 ]

The Prefect's representative argued that the shops and restaurants of the "jungle" were causing "serious disturbances of public order" not only because "they are places for illegal sales", but because migrants are "exploited" eat "rotten meat" there and buy "tools on credit, including cutter blades, to attack trucks on the ring road." The Chief of Staff also argued that the managers of these businesses "exploit small hands", "assault volunteers from associations" and "take water and electrical power from connections" provided by the State for the migrants in the camp.

Conversely, the lawyer Norbert Clément said the that sales premises were primarily places of socialisation "When new people arrive at the camp, it is because of this this informal organization that they can be welcomed, and find out where to find clothes, how to contact members of their community." According to the lawyer, migrants can rest, take a shower, get a free free meal, watch TV or even recharge their mobiles. He felt that the objective of the prefecture was to remove "anything that creates links" and "not perpetuate a system that is destined to disappear."

He also argued that the services put in place by the state were now at saturation point, and therefore had no capacity to deal with all migrants in the camp: the 1,500 places in the interim care centre (CAP) are occupied, respite centres located elsewhere in France are "saturated". As for the distribution of meals at the Jules Ferry centre, this generates such long queues, he said, that tensions arise between refugees. The representative of the Prefecture replied that on the contrary, the state could offer "5000 complimentary meals each day, and we can go further if necessary." He added that a centre for unaccompanied minors would emerge "very soon" in Calais.

Three activists also spoke to defend the interests of these "social places", including the Kid's restaurant, created exclusively for minors and also doomed to destruction (A petition is circulating elsewhere on the Web to ask that this living place for minors is retained. It has already collected several thousand signatures. ).

Following these discussions, the presiding judge said that he would give his decision on Friday.