Leads to fears of centre being used as hostel
Charities dub it as information centre
4th February 2010: A piano is generating a lot of noise.
After a newspaper claimed a lorry was seen delivering 40 camp-beds, bed covers and a piano at the `warehouse’ in Calais dubbed Sangatte II, voices of resentment are being heard, with some saying the building will become a shelter for migrants.
A spokesman for the SOS charity, on the other hand, is insisting the piano is just to inject a little bit of fun into the evenings.
The centre, a few hundred yards from the ‘Jungle’, was being referred to as ‘Sangatte II’ after the former Red Cross centre, which attracted thousands of illegal migrants before it was demolished in 2002.
The Jungle, a fetid forest camp near Calais, was in September last bulldozed by the French police; and illegal immigrants who had hoped to slip across the English Channel into Britain too were detained.
The warehouse – on `England Square’ – has been rented by local charities SOS and No Border. The act is being dubbed by some as a defiance of a French ban on shelter to illegal immigrants in town.
The charities have all along been claiming the warehouse will not become a second Sangatte. They are rather insisting it will be used as an information and help centre for the migrants.
Reacting to the developments, Calais deputy prefect Gerard Gavory said the authorities would not allow the building to be converted into a shelter for migrants.
He added he did not know exactly what the charities were up to, but if they were planning on providing accommodation to migrants, it would not be allowed.
He said the government’s policy was to prevent any building from being used as a hostel, and they were prepared to send in the police to detain anyone trying to shelter migrants in the building.’