Tuesday 27 September 2016

Migrant camp near Paris Metro station evacuated

Published 30/03/2016 | 13:36

Migrants sit in a rubber boat prior to being rescued by the German navy in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya (AP)
Migrants sit in a rubber boat prior to being rescued by the German navy in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya (AP)

French police have evacuated nearly 1,000 migrants from a makeshift camp near a Paris Metro station.

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The operation was peaceful and authorities offered the migrants temporary lodging and help applying for asylum, the French interior ministry said.

The migrants reportedly included people from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and Afghanistan who had been living beneath elevated train tracks for the past few weeks.

The Paris transit authority closed the Stalingrad Metro station during the operation. The area has seen multiple migrant camps in recent years which are periodically cleared out.

The ministry said "the street should not be a refuge" for people fleeing persecution, and described the evacuation as being necessary for public order, public health and humanitarian reasons.

France has not seen nearly as many Syrian refugees or other migrants over the past year as Germany or countries further east, but it has experienced tensions around the northern port of Calais, where migrants converge in the hope of crossing into Britain.

Meanwhile, the flow of migrants to the Greek islands seems to be on the rise again as the weather gets warmer.

Figures released by the Greek government showed 766 people reached the islands of Lesbos, Samos, Chios and Kos in the 24 hours until Wednesday morning. That number represents a three-fold rise compared to arrivals in previous days.

In Turkey, the coast guard said it rescued dozens of mostly Syrian migrants as they tried to reach Greece in an inflatable dinghy.

Off the coast of Libya, a German combat ship rescued scores of people who were trying to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa into Italy's southern islands.

A new European Union-Turkey agreement comes into effect next week to curb the flow of migrants.

Press Association

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