Macron vows to rid France of immigrant camps as 'second Calais' grows


The north-eastern town of Metz has become a frontline of the illegal immigration crisis as violence, alcohol abuse and even rape cases have become routine for the locals.

Having just over 100,000 residents, it has been dubbed a "second Calais" due to the appalling nature of living conditions and crime rates.

Even though the site has been cleared several times in the past by French authorities, hundreds of immigrants regularly return to set up camps.

The locals are concerned about their safety, however it is unlikely much actions will be taken if there's anything to be learned from the ‘Calais Jungle.'

Authorities have been struggling to cope with the huge influx of illegal immigrants, building centers to accommodate a few hundreds, while in reality thousands are show up.

"The city of Metz was not prepared for the camp. The authorities emptied it, but now there are 700 refugees back there again. It's becoming a second Calais," a concerned local woman told Russia Today's Charlotte Dubenskij.

"This problem has to be addressed quickly, for their sake as well as for us," another local woman said.

Even aid workers do not feel safe in the camp, calling it a "humanitarian slum."

"There is a problem with alcohol and violence. Even as an aid worker, I've faced problems. They don't have food, but they manage to get hold of alcohol. We don't know how to handle the situation. There is not enough security for the number of people here," an aid worker at the Metz camp told RT.

Just like in Calais, the locals are saying that the problems they're facing are being downloading by the state.

"There are a lot of home break-ins. A lot of aggression. They snatch women's handbags, but no one talks about that on TV," a local taxi driver told the RT crew while driving them to the camp site. "The migrants are everywhere in Metz," he added.

Much like in the refugee camp set up in the old airport of Athens, as well as many other places around the continent, security guards refused to let journalists in.

In a surprising move, French President Emmanuel Macron said that he wants to rid the country of such camps and house the genuine refugees in better accommodation centers.

"The first battle is to house everybody in a dignified manner. By the end of the year, I want no more women and men in the streets, in the woods, lost. It's a question of dignity, a question of humanity but also of efficiency. Everywhere where the emergency housing is built to welcome them, I want administrative steps for their cases to be examined," Macron pledged.

The French Interior Minister, Gerard Collomb, told CNEWS earlier this month that the asylum process should be made more efficient while illegal immigrants should be swiftly deported.

Istanbul Daily Sabah with wires

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