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Europe

Hollande vows to clear Paris migrant camps after Jungle closure

media Migrants movoing out of the Jungle camp in Calais Philippe Huguen/AFP

French President François Hollande says migrants living on the streets of Paris will soon be removed, following the closure of the Jungle in Calais. And he backed up a call from more than 100 French MPs for Britain to immediately take in unaccompanied minors who have been living in the vast migrants' camp.

 

Hollande on Saturday expressed his satisfaction that the Jungle had been evacuated "without incident".

"France has given the best possible image of itself because, we have to measure up to this new challenge - that of refugees," he said. "We could not tolerate the camps and we won't tolerate them."

Some 2,000 migrants have arrived in Paris since September, regional officials confirmed on Friday.

"That can't last. We will do the same operation as in Calais and take them to centres," Hollande said.

Minister denies Jungle migrants headed to Paris

Most of the new arrivals in Paris have settled in a camp near the Stalingrad metro station.

Regional official Jean-François Carenco said that an operation to place them in accommodation - the 30th in the capital - will be started before 15 November.

But he denied a claim by Paris city councillor Colombe Brossel that many of them had come from Calais, as did Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, who said the new camp would be cleared in the next few days.

Open letter to UK's Rudd

An open letter from over 100 MPs, most of them from Hollande's Socialist Party, has called on British Home Secretary Amber Rudd to "live up to your responsibilities and accept your moral responsibility" by accepting some 1,500 unaccompanied minors who have been placed in a provisional reception centre in Calais since the evacuation of the Jungle.

Many have family in the UK, it points out, so they "are not asking any favours; they have the right in line with current international regulations and British law, to go to Britain".

Britain has taken in 274 children and adolescents from the Jungle since mid-October, setting off an outcry in the right-wing media, and France continues to press the British government to accept more.

A screengrab of Gaspard Glanz's Facebook posting

Journalist banned from camp

A left-wing journalist has been banned from entering Calais and charged with stealing a police walkie-talkie and insulting 12 police officers.

Gaspard Glanz, 29, was held for 33 hours after being picked up by police at the Jungle this week, according to his own report on the website that he runs, Taranis.

The site hosts videos of demonstrations, sometimes filmed during violent incidents, and allegations of police brutality.

The theft charge arose from a photo of the walkie-talkie that Glanz tweeted declaring it "war booty", although he claims to have found the object on the ground in the Jungle.

The other charge refers to a Facebook post of a photo of plain-clothes police accompanied by the Nazi slogan "Ein Reich, ein Volk, ein Führer".

Glanz has already been detained by police twice, once during a climate change protest in 2015 and once during an anti-labour reform demonstration in June.

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