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Sunday, August 28, Le Figaro titles over 10,000 “migrants” in Calais, taking the announcement of Alliance Police Nationale union.


Monday, August 29, transporters, shopkeepers, dockers’ unions, farmers, announced for Monday, September 5th a blocking of the highway to obtain the destruction of the shantytown where the state has concentrated the exiles in Calais.


Note that since the month of February all the demonstrations concerning the migration situation in Calais are prohibited on behalf of the state of emergency. But not this one.

Wednesday, August 31, the Interior Minister announced his arrival in Calais Friday, September 2 to meet the organisers of the highway blockade.


Ministers have no such speed to dialogue when it comes to the Labour law.

Thursday, September 1, the Minister gave an interview to Nord Littoral newspaper to present an “exclusive” what he is going to announce.


These announcements are based on numbers games. The exercise is rather pathetic, and it looks a little, like panic.


The Minister announces that there is 1,900 police and gendarmes in Calais, and he’s going to add 200.

The Franco-British declaration of August 30, 2016 (last Tuesday) spoke of “1,000 police and gendarmes” “for a year” and that “this scheme has recently been supplemented by an additional 160 agents”, which makes 1160 in total.


The Migration Declaration of Amiens Summit (March 3, 2016) spoke of 1,300 police and gendarmes (there would have been a decline between March and August).

Click to access dc3a9claration-sur-les-migrations-prc3a9sidence-de-la-rc3a9publique.pdf


The minister announced 8000 new accommodation places by the end of the year.

That being 6000 places in CADA (Accommodation Centers for Asylum Seekers), but for asylum seekers throughout the territory, in a context where only one third of asylum seekers are accommodated in a CADA, and where there is a need of a remedy of tens of thousands of places. So it concerns only marginally Calais.

And 2 000 places in CAO (Accommodation and Orientation Centers or “respite centers”).

On July 26th, at the National Steering Committee meeting of the CAO system, the Housing Minister announced the opening of 3 000 places by the end of September. Now the interior minister has only announced 2 000 new places,  by the end of December.


This is what we see on the ground, places openings are in dribs and drabs and the scheme is fully engorged (see here and here).

This engorgement is partially because the CAO system was originally a winter arrangement, much of the centres had been established in holiday centers and therefore had to close when they recovered their initial vocation. There are a significantly lower number of places in the CAO in late spring (maybe a thousand places, maybe more, the figures of the two ministries, interior and the housing ministers, are increasingly blurred when you recover from the effects of the announcement, and they do not always agree).

When considering the number of people who go into a CAO, we must remember that 45% of people leave without orientation and return most often to Calais or to their place of departure.



Counterfeiters trapped, by Richard Brend’amour.