Court allows Eurotunnel damages

26th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

THE HAGUE, Feb 26, 2007 (AFP) - A court here gave a damages ruling in favour of Channel tunnel operator Eurotunnel against Britain and France on Monday over costs arising from the presence of illegal immigrants in the tunnel.

THE HAGUE, Feb 26, 2007 (AFP) - A court here gave a damages ruling in favour of Channel tunnel operator Eurotunnel against Britain and France on Monday over costs arising from the presence of illegal immigrants in the tunnel.

Eurotunnel had claimed damages of about 30 million pounds (45 million euros) for delays to services caused by immigrants from a French centre at Sangatte, in northern France, who were trying to get to Britain via the tunnel.

It also challenged bills from the British authorities for the cost of detaining and returning illegal immigrants who had arrived in Britain via the tunnel.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that given the problem of illegal immigrants in 2000-2002, the two governments had failed to ensure normal conditions of order and public safety around Calais in northern France.

It is from there that the Channel tunnel goes underground, to pass beneath the Channel and emerge in southern England.

The court said that Eurotunnel, which operates the tunnel, was entitled to recover losses arising directly from problems associated with immigrants in the tunnel from December 2000 to December 2002.

The amount of damages could be negotiated before the court, a procedure that could last several years.

Eurotunnel alleged that the two governments had not managed the flow of immigrants. It claimed the damages for delays, prejudices and costs caused by the presence of large numbers of them in the tunnel between France and England from 2000 to 2002.

Eurotunnel said that the immigrants had penetrated the tunnel from their residential base at a centre for immigrants at Sangatte in France.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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