No Fares For Foreigners: French Railway No Longer Demands Payment From Migrants

The French state railway company SNCF has told conductors to waive the fares of migrants, effectively subsidising the cross-continental travel of newcomers, hastening arrivals at Channel port Calais and instituting a policy of no fares for foreigners.

The move has been met with anger in France, as ordinary commuters and travellers are now shouldering the cost of foreigners who ride the rails for free. The Independent reports the policy was revealed by a leaked internal memo which calls on conductors to show “humanity” when deciding to waive fares and not to throw off migrants without tickets.

In offering free rides to migrants, France is following the example of multicultural paradise Sweden, which has not only introduced a policy of no fares for foreigners but has also laid on dozens of extra services a week to cope with the extra demand free travel has encouraged. Thousands of migrants and so-called refugees now travel from Malmo, the gateway to the Nordic nations and Sweden’s southernmost city by rail to the capital Stockholm.

Breitbart London reported from Stockholm last month that the national Migration Bureaux had even set up a field office on the platforms of the central station to welcome migrants to the nation as soon as they arrived. Within moments of getting off the crowded special trains, arrivals were encouraged to start filling out the paperwork which would get them housing, food, medical and education. A bureaux spokesman told Breitbart London that “on some of the extra migrant trains, there can be hundreds of people for us to register”.

The move by France’s SNCF has raised concern the free rides will only exacerbate the situation in Calais, where thousands of migrants wait in hope of smuggling aboard a lorry or train to make it to Britain. Front National leader and presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen has written an open letter to the chief of the French operator, remarking: “By facilitating the journeys of illegal immigrants, you should realise that you are making the situation worse in Calais.

“A lot of illegal immigrants want to reach England. You are facilitating the dirty work of the people smugglers”.

SNCF hit back at the accusations being levelled at it, and insisted that most migrants had the correct tickets: “We sometimes come across people without a ticket or who maybe don’t have the right one, and it’s not always easy to get the right ticket to the right destination when you don’t speak French”.

Ultimately, the policy was about avoiding conflict with migrant groups, which is understandable considering the scenes of riot police being forced to protect trains in Eastern Europe, and of acting with humanity. The SNCF spokesman said: “What’s been put in place is the possibility for free booking in order to attribute numbered seats to the refugees so they remain grouped together and they can avoid any risk of conflict that may come if they’d taken seats reserved by other passengers.

“These are people are in exceptional circumstances, and are often fatigued or in distress. It is only natural to handle them with humanity”.

“What’s been put in place is the possibility for free booking in order to attribute numbered seats to the refugees so they remain grouped together and they can avoid any risk of conflict that may come if they’d taken seats reserved by other passengers.”

Follow Oliver Lane on Twitter: or e-mail to: olane@breitbart.com


Comment count on this article reflects comments made on Breitbart.com and Facebook. Visit Breitbart's Facebook Page.