France: €5.2 million spent to house just 28 migrant minors

Initial proposals showed that the new facility would accommodate 66 migrants, however in reality it will house just 28

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Remix News
Some 80 unaccompanied minors from the island of Lampedusa's migrant housing center, Sicily, are embarked on the ship Cossyra, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, bound to the Sicilian town of Porto Empedocle. (AP Photo/Salvatore Cavalli)

A French municipal council has been criticized for the construction of a reception facility due to accommodate young, unaccompanied migrants, after it emerged the cost to taxpayers will be €5.2 million and it will only house 28 minors, less than half than originally planned.

Local officials defended the building of the child protection establishment in Vern-sur-Seiche, near Rennes on Monday evening at a council meeting.

Anne-Françoise Courteille, vice-president of the Ille-et-Vilaine Departmental Council and delegate for child protection, insisted that it is a “mandatory mission to meet the basic needs of a child,” and explained that in Ille-et-Vilaine alone, 743 isolated young people are cared for, including 358 minors and 385 young people under 22 years of age.

“They come from Morocco, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Algeria, Afghanistan… and more than 97 percent of them are men,” she noted.

Initial proposals showed that the new facility would be equipped to accommodate 66 minors, with the local mayor learning of its drastically reduced capacity via the press back in November of last year.

As well as the economical cost to the council, the societal impact of accepting unaccompanied migrants was also considered at the meeting, with opposition politicians calling on other areas to take on their fair share.

“There should be a fairer distribution according to the population. Vern should accommodate six minors,” objected Laurence Mercier, departmental councilor, highlighting that local young people in need of assistance “would like to have identical conditions.”

Didier Moyon, the former mayor of the town insisted that the “mixing of societies is an opportunity.

“Welcoming refugees is a value that we have made ours,” he added.

Construction of the facility is expected to be completed in April.

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