Hundreds of migrants evacuated from Paris school

2015-10-23 14:53
Middle-Eastern migrants wait to cross the Serbian-Croatian border near the village of Berkasovo, close to the northwestern Serbian town of Sid. (Elvis Barukcic, AFP)

Middle-Eastern migrants wait to cross the Serbian-Croatian border near the village of Berkasovo, close to the northwestern Serbian town of Sid. (Elvis Barukcic, AFP)

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Berkasovo - Paris authorities have evacuated a former high school that hundreds of Syrian, Afghan and other migrants had called home for months.

France has been criticsed for not finding enough housing for asylum-seekers, even as other European countries have taken in hundreds of thousands of new arrivals this year.

Amid health and safety concerns, authorities moved in Friday to evacuate the Jean-Quarre school in northern Paris. Its unused classrooms, hallways and schoolyard became an informal refuge over the summer.

The migrants boarded buses and were being taken to shelters and residences in the Paris region, according to city hall. The operation unfolded calmly. Some wrapped themselves in blankets as they waited for buses.

Thousands of migrants are still living in a filthy camp in the English Channel port city of Calais.

Germany's interior minister says measures meant to streamline the country's handling of the migrant influx and make it easier to deport rejected asylum applicants will take effect this weekend, more than a week earlier than planned.

The package approved by lawmakers last week aims to cut red tape, speed deportations and curb cash benefits. Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro, from which large numbers of people have arrived this year join other Balkan countries in being declared safe states, meaning their citizens can be sent back faster.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said on Friday the number of deportations will rise, but didn't specify when and by how much. He said there have been 11 000 deportations so far this year and four or five times as many people left voluntarily.

Read more on:    syria  |  france  |  migrants

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