CALAIS AND THE GROUNDHOG DAY

Last week the refugee camp called “La Jungle de Calais” was dismantled. This is not the first time that French authorities try to carry out a “humanitarian” evacuation of this camp since last spring there was already a partial one. If in October 2015 there were around 6.000 refugees, after the partial evacuation this number drop to 3.500. However, it grew to more than 7.000 until the total dismantling of the camp. Recent event show that no matter how many refugees are relocated, that flows keep coming to cross the Channel to Great Britain. Governments may put fences, patrols, and stricter border controls; but those who suffer in their countries, keep coming to save their lives.

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Number of refugees in the “Calais Jungle” Source: http://www.francetvinfo.fr/

The dismantling of Calais is not a solution but the postponement of a problem. This problem is not the flows of refugees (economic, political or war refugees) coming to Europe, but the inability and incapacity of our political institutions to reach agreements to solve our common problems. While blaming the UK for not taking any responsibility in the Calais affair, France creates a similar bottleneck in Ventimiglia (Italy) preventing refugees to cross its own borders. This prisoner’s dilemma, this rat race among European countries to see who shelters fewer refugees, is bringing Europe to the worst values crisis of its history.

Far right parties organise demonstrations in the villages where refugees are being relocated, feeding the anxiety of local populations. Xenophobia and racism are normalised and institutionalised while political and economic elites keep increasing its profits and the working class and the precariat continue being exploited.

It’s time to engage for a decent Europe.

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