France criticises 'strange' Belgium border checks

25th February 2016, Comments 0 comments

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Thursday sharply criticised Belgium's decision to impose checks at the border with France to stop people coming from the "Jungle" migrant camp in Calais.

"This decision is a strange one, just as is its motivation," Cazeneuve said as he arrived for talks with his EU counterparts as the migrant crisis deepens.

Belgium on Tuesday launched a huge operation to monitor three border crossings and surrounding sand dunes in the De Panne region bordering France.

This was in anticipation of a decision by France to demolish half the "Jungle" refugee camp in Calais, a northern French port city near the Channel Tunnel rail link which leads to Britain.

Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon said most of the migrants currently in Calais eventually wanted to get to Britain and failing that, would use Belgium as a transit route via the port of Zeebrugge.

"We were never warned," France's Cazeneuve said.

"Any claim that this (operation) could cause an increase in the flow of migrants to the Belgian border does not correspond to reality," he said.


© 2016 AFP

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