Tourists stay away from Calais. There is nothing left. Many shops have closed down. This is the feedback given by Calais, France, residents to RT Media explaining how life has changed since the port city has become the frontline of the current refugee crisis.
The migrant camp near the French city of Calais, nicknamed the “Jungle,” serves as a temporary home for an estimated 4,000 asylum seekers – mostly from North Africa, the Middle East, and Afghanistan – who have failed to reach the UK across the Channel. It is the largest makeshift camp in Europe and has gradually turned into a small town with its own social life.
French authorities are seeking to reduce the size of the Calais camp in an attempt to bring order to the unmanageable border territory.
In February, a church and a mosque were reportedly destroyed by the government without any previous notice, despite the government’s pledge not to damage places of worship.
A local resident explains to RT, recalling her life as a Calais native. She appeared to be nostalgic about the times when city dwellers lived in “peace and security,” saying that the arrival of migrants had completely overturned the old familiar way of life.
“They come to the town center, they vandalize cars with iron bars, they attack people, including children. There are rapes and thefts. It is unimaginable,” she complained, confessing that her son had also been assaulted by three migrants right in the city center.