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French government to take over running of Dunkirk migrants' camp, report

Migrants in the Grande-Synthe camp, 8 March 2016
Migrants in the Grande-Synthe camp, 8 March 2016 AFP

The French government is to take over the running of a major migrant camps on the Channel coast after a long dispute with the local council, Le Monde newspaper reports. The camp at Grande-Synthe, on the outskirts of Dunkirk, is currently managed by the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) NGO.

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Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve is to announce the move on 30 May during a visit to the camp during which he will be accompanied by Housing Minister Emmanuelle Cosse, the paper says.

The decision is "very good news", MSF's André Jincq told Le Monde.

Grande Synthe Mayor Damien Carême, a member of the Green party EELV, also welcomed it.

Carême was promised state help when he met Cazeneuve last September after the number of migrants in his town grew from a few dozen to 2,500.

But the aid was not forthcoming and the local council itself built showers and garbage disposal facilities and went on to plan a camp with wood cabins with MSF.

Despite differences with regional and national authorities the camp opened on 7 March and, according to Le Monde, Cazeneuve promised that the government would help with financing the camp's infrastructure on 31 March.

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