‘No Camps in France,’ Vows Hollande, Under Right Wing Pressure

i
(AFP) – President Francois Hollande, under pressure from the right wing, on Saturday stepped up his pledge to combat illegal migration, vowing to dismantle a squalid settlement near Calais and prevent similar camps from becoming established in France. “There will be no camps in France,” said Hollande, two days ahead of a maiden visit to the notorious “Jungle” settlement near Calais, where between 7,000 and 10,000 desperate migrants live. The Socialist leader spelt out promises to “completely dismantle” the Jungle and set up “reception and orientation centres around the country” to accommodate asylum-seekers. Hollande’s government has vowed to scrap the Jungle “before winter” and a flurry of preparations underway there suggest the operation may begin shortly. Migration has been a low-key issue under Hollande’s four-year-old presidency. But he has been forced to take a visible stance on the issue, under pressure from his conservative predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy — who is hoping to make a comeback as president — and far-right leader Marine Le Pen. Each are promoting platforms of security, patriotism and national interest in early campaigning for next year’s elections. “We will provide a humane, dignified welcome to people who will file for the right of asylum,” Hollande said.