The French cross-Channel rail tunnel operator is seeking €9.7 million ($10.67 million) in compensation for disruption caused by illegal migrants in and around Calais with Britain expected to help foot the bill.
Eurotunnel is charging London and Paris after it incurred a security charge of €13 million in the first half of 2015 trying to stop migrants crossing to England. The amount is equivalent to its entire costs in this sector for all of 2014 and is being demanded even though the problem is on the French not English side of the Channel.
According to the Local, around two-thirds of the €9.7 million comes from fencing and other security measures and the rest from loss of income caused by closure of the line. Already it looks certain the British government will accede to the request.
“The British government has already committed to taking on €4.7 million for 2015,” Euroteunnel said, in a statement of the company’s first-half activity.
France and Britain signed an agreement last September, creating a fund of €5 million ($5.6 million) per year to help Calais cope with the migrant influx. The money was earmarked for reinforcing security around the port and access to the tunnel.
As Breitbart London has already reported, large numbers of migrants who have escaped from sub-Saharan Africa across the Mediterranean are ending up in Calais hoping to cross illegally into the UK. There has been violence and attacks on truck operators due to the French security being overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of illegals.
The view in France is that the illegal immigration problem at the Channel port is one entirely of the UK’s making. The Guardian revealed in June that the mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart thinks that Britain’s half-hearted approach to Europe is the cause of the troubles.
“A country cannot remain both in and out of Europe, creating problems but providing no compensation and no support to local authorities such as mine and others, which are left alone to assume huge responsibilities,” she said in an interview with the Council of Europe’s Journal.
“The city of Calais has to deal with the problems caused by an EU country that has not adopted the EU rules contained in the Schengen agreement”.
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