Following the infamous Calais ‘Jungle’ camp closure, many of those displaced have been relocating to Paris. RT crew talked to Parisians, both newly-arrived and native, to find out how this is affecting the city.
Despite French Minister of Housing Emmanuelle Cosse assuring people on Friday that there “has been no migrant movement between Calais and Paris,” a number of French organizations that deal with migrants have been reporting an increase in newcomers at the Paris Stalingrad metro station camp since the ‘Jungle’ was closed.
The Office for Welcoming and Accompanying Migrants stated earlier this week that the number of asylum-seekers in the area jumped sharply from 2,000 to 3,000, and the same numbers were voiced by Heloise Mary from the bureau of migration, on France’s BFMTV.
“We have seen a big increase since the start of the week. Last night, our teams counted 40 to 50 new tents there in two days,” Colombe Brossel, Paris deputy mayor in charge of security issues, told Reuters on Friday. French media, citing police sources, has been reporting that large numbers of migrants have been illegally boarding trains and busses to get from Calais to Paris.
“They are mostly coming straight from Italy… but we have some, maybe 20 [from the Calais camp],” Clemence Monar, a volunteer paramedic helping at the migrant encampment near the Stalingrad metro station, told RT. This means that not only those who left Calais are now flocking to Paris, but also those who have just arrived in France skip Calais and go straight to the French capital.
Clemence Monar said she hoped Paris would now become the center of attention for the French migration problem.
“Because maybe then they will finally do something about it.”
The Stalingrad metro area has been dubbed the “migrant triangle” by the media, including Avenue de Flandre street and Jean-Jaurès square. One of the “residents” of this migrant encampment told RT he came to Paris from Calais, although this was a decision he was forced to make by the French government, which he accuses of being reluctant to help.
“[I’m] from Calais. I came here on Sunday, last Sunday. We took the train; we went by train — without a ticket. It’s hard to get to the UK. You understand? Here we come; our country has problems, too many problems, our lives are risky. So, that’s why we come here. But the French government, they are not helping people. I don’t know why,” the man who called himself Mosel, a former ‘Jungle’ resident, said.