French Court Rejects Eurotunnel Plea to Close Sangatte
Burrell, Ian, The Independent (London, England)
EUROTUNNEL FAILED yesterday in a court challenge to force the French government to close a shelter for asylum-seekers close to the Channel Tunnel.
The company claims it has lost pounds 20m from interruptions to its freight rail services by asylum-seekers from the shelter at Sangatte, near Calais, attempting to breach its fences and board trains or enter the tunnel. But yesterday a court in Lille, France, said the problems with Sangatte were not severe enough to justify re- siting the shelter further from the tunnel.
A Eurotunnel spokesman, John Noulton, described the finding as "very disappointing". He said: "The judge used legal technicalities to avoid actually coming to a conclusion about the issue we had brought before him, which is that the proximity of the centre represents a significant and difficult problem for us which needs a quick solution."
The Sangatte shelter was originally a Eurotunnel building but was requisitioned by the French government after a public outcry over the number of asylum- seekers sleeping rough around Calais. …