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France

Calais complies with court order to provide toilets, water for migrants

media Migrants queue for food in Calais in June AFP

Calais started to install toilets and drinking water outlets for migrants on Wednesday, in line with a ruling by France's highest legal authority that the city's mayor vowed to defy.

Ten toilets and five taps were installed next to the premises of a Catholic charity on the outskirts of the city on Wednesday and local officials said more would be placed on another street not far from the ring road.

At the end of July the Council of State endorsed an order by a court in Lille to provide facilities for migrants.

There are 450-700 migrants in the Channel port at the moment.

Calais's right-wing mayor Natacha Bouchart had sworn not to give in to the Council of State's "injunctions" but local prefect Fabien Sudry, who represents central government in the area, said that providing the facilities was his responsibility.

The sites were placed were chosen so as to avoid the reconstruction of the "Jungle" camp, in which up to 7,000 migrants had settled at one time in the hope of crossing the English Channel to Britain, Sudry said.

In July two centres were opened in northern France to house migrants, establish  their status within eight days and send them to centres elsewhere in France.

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