Category: News

Eurotunnel: death at the fences, profits for Goldman Sachs

channel-tunnel

Death at the fences, profits for Goldman Sachs

At least 15 people were killed in or around the channel tunnel in 2015. Some were electrocuted, some run over by trains, some chased by police into traffic near the entrance. All these deaths were a direct result of people trying to get past the intensive security put in place by Eurotunnel, funded by the British and French governments, to stop them reaching England.

Responding to these deaths, Eurotunnel apologised for the inconvenience caused to its passengers. Its boss Jacques Gounon explained that the migrants dying at his door are “very far from poor unfortunates who seek refuge in England and have a right to a humanitarian approach”, but instead are “veritable commandos, well coordinated” who seek “to make politics and destabilise the government.”

Also in 2015 Eurotunnel, which runs the tunnel under a concession lasting until 2086, made a €100 million profit. €97 million of this was paid out as a dividend and handed straight to its shareholders, international investment firms led by major shareholder and creditor Goldman Sachs. Despite this record year, Eurotunnel is demanding millions more in compensation from the governments for “lost earnings” due to the “migrant crisis”.

But just what is the Eurotunnel company, and how has it come to play a key role in the militarisation of the UK/France border?

The new report on Eurotunnel by Calais Research Network profiles the company’s business and growth strategy; its owners, decision-makers, and powerful political connections; its history and crucial role in the border system at Calais; and some issues for its future development. Read it in full here.

Key Points

  • Eurotunnel has played a key role in the militarisation of the border from the start. The treaties that originally exported the UK border to France, bringing a new world of barbed wire and police patrols to Calais, emerged from negotiations around the tunnel. The governments outsource border security to the company, handing over tens of millions to fund a 300 strong private security army headed by an ex-police chief and ex-army colonel, and to install an array of surveillance and security technologies.
  • Eurotunnel is where political, financial, and military interests come together at the heart of the Calais border system. Directors include politicians from both sides of the channel, including disgraced British ex-ministers Patricia Hewitt and Tim Yeo and local Pas de Calais heavyweight Philippe Vasseur, alongside the likes of arms industry fixer Lord Levene (chair of General Dynamics UK, and former National Armaments Advisor), and the infrastructure boss of Goldman Sachs.
  • Nearly 3/4 of the company’s income comes from its 90+ year tunnel concession. Almost half of revenue is from the “Shuttle” train transporting cars and trucks, another quarter from access fees paid by Eurostar and freight train operators. These revenues are regarded as highly stable: so long as trade flows freely across the channel, Eurotunnel is on to a sure thing. The biggest cloud on the horizon is the great unknown of Brexit.
  • Eurotunnel is now highly profitable, after a difficult start when it was held down by massive debts from the tunnel construction. Debt restructuring in 2007 reversed the company’s fortunes — at the expense of thousands of small shareholders who saw their holdings slashed in value. The company is now the property of international investment funds, first amongst them Goldman Sachs with 15% ownership, who extract big dividends and pay minimal tax.
  • Eurotunnel still has outstanding debts of around €4 billion, and is currently looking to refinance these at lower interest rates.
  • The man who pushed through the 2007 Goldman Sachs deal was Jacques Gounon, who has been at the helm since then unchallenged as both chairman and chief executive.
  • Eurotunnel had a record year in 2015, despite terror scares and the “migration crisis”. This hasn’t stopped it announcing plans to make a €29 million claim on the governments for “revenue losses due to migrant pressure”. Back in 2009 it won a €24 settlement from the two states in a secretive ISDS court ruling about earlier costs related to border security in 1999-2002. This is on top of the undisclosed millions transferred every year by the governments for border security outsourced to Eurotunnel.
  • Although the company’s income from the tunnel is stable, it offers limited growth. So Eurotunnel is seeking to expand into new business areas, including expanding its own rail freight business. Other new schemes include a golf course and “eco-village” development near the French tunnel terminal at Sangatte; the Eleclink electricity grid interconnector; and participating in a failed bid for London City Airport.

With a long term concession on key trans-national infrastructure, backed by two governments and one of the world’s most powerful investment banks, with powerful friends on the board and even a state-subsidised private army, Eurotunnel’s future seems assured. But nothing is for sure, and the last section of the report profiles some challenges for the company’s future.

Will Brexit lead to a trade downturn? Will security problems return on the tracks and roads that lead to the tunnel? Will workers stay quiet if there are new “restructurings”? Will dependence on specialist suppliers be an issue? Can Eurotunnel keep local authorities sweet as it continues to expand its terminals and facilities? How will it fare as it moves into new riskier ventures?

An Update on Some of the Companies Collaborating in the Calais Eviction // Mise à jour sur quelques entreprises qui ont collaboré à l’expulsion de Calais

The Calais Research Network has created a list of some of the many companies that profited off of the eviction in the last weeks, razing the camp and dispersing people across France. This is an update to the longer list of companies implicated in Calais border violence that the group released last month.

4200

VINCI

A subsidiary of VINCI, the SNH (Sogea Nord Hydraulics), has again played a major role in evicting the jungle, destroying people’s shelters and clearing the rubble of those that had already burned. The company served the same function during the eviction of the south part of the camp earlier this year. According to the CGT Union of VINCI, which publicly opposed the company’s role in the eviction, workers were advised to wear neutral clothes during the destruction of the camp so that they wouldn’t be recognised in the media.

Now that thousands of people have been displaced from Calais, some of the police forces involved have been freed up again. The threat of eviction still hangs over ZAD, where VINCI has long hoped to construct an airport. The eviction there was purported to have been postponed due to the difficulty of organizing two major eviction operations simulataneously. A similar strategy as seen in Calais has been planned for ZAD, however. Around the jungle, a special zone was announced barring all unauthorised persons from entry, making the camp into a playground for the police to test out new repressive tools for accelerating the state’s response to ‘infractions’ against order.

Sorting Centre

Joly Location
353 CD 940 Bleriot Plage 62231
Joly rented out the warehouse nearby the jungle that was converted into a sorting center for sending people on buses throughout France. The company generally provides equipment such as bulldozers and building material in the area (but we are not aware of any of their equipment being used in the eviction).

Transport to CAOs

Local bus companies organised trips from the jungle to centres throughout France also profited from the evictions, leading local newspaper La Voix du Nord to cynically praise the eviction for its contribution to the local economy.
The companies below were legally requisitioned by the prefecture to provide buses for the eviction, with funding coming from OFII. (See here, here, here, and here) :

Littoral Nord Autocar
251 Avenue Henri Ravisse
Z.A.C. TRANSMARCK
62730 MARCK
Tel.: 03.21.46.39.39

Voyages Moleux
ZI de l’inquieterie
24 rue de la Capelle
62 280 Saint Martin Boulogne
Tel. : 03 21 10 34 34

Autocars PORTAL
ZI. des Dunes Chemin du Pont Trouille 62100 Calais
Tel.: 03 21 35 13 79
06 09 62 51 45
Fax: 03 21 82 32 70
E-mail: autocars.portal@wanadoo.fr

Voyages Inglard
Route Départementale 943, 62921 Aire-sur-la-Lys, France
Tel.: 0321954430
E-mail: inglard-airesurlalys@selectourafat.com

Made Tourism
Route de Bourbourg
62162 Vieille-Église

Voyages Cattteau
BP 357 – 59463 Lomme cedex / Locaux : Avenue des Marronniers – 59840 Pérenchies
Tel.: 03 20 92 45 11 – Fax 03 20 22 01 45
Email: contact@voyages-catteau.com

We have also spotted buses from:

Delgrange voyage
22 Boulevard Sainte-Barbe, 59122 Dunkerque, France

Mariot Voyages
2, rue de la Paix, 59480, La Bassee, France

Voyages Mullie
Address: 246 Rue de Condé, 62160 Grenay, France
Tel.: +33 3 21 29 02 36

Dumont

L’Oiseau Bleu

///////////[FR]

L’équipe de Calais Research Network a listé certaines des nombreuses entreprises qui auront profité de l’expulsion ces dernières semaines, de la destruction du camp àla dispersion des gens dans toute la France. Ceci est une mise à jour de la liste plus complète des entreprises responsables de la violence de la frontière à Calais que le groupe a publié le mois dernier.

VINCI

Une des filiales de VINCI, SNH (Sogea Nord Hydraulique), a encore joué un rôle majeur dans l’expulsion de la jungle, détruisant les abris et dégageant les décombres de ceux déjà brûlés. L’entreprise avait rempli la même mission durant l’expulsion de la zone Sud au début de l’année. Selon la section CGT de Vinci, qui s’est publiquement opposé au rôle de l’entreprise dans l’expulsion, les travailleurs ont reçu l’ordre de porter des vêtements neutres pendant l’expulsion afin de ne pas être reconnus dans les médias.

Maintenant que des milliers de personnes ont été expulsées de Calais, une partie des forces de police impliquées sont de nouveau disponibles. Une menace d’expulsion plane encore sur la ZAD, où Vinci espère depuis longtemps construire un aéroport. L’expulsion y avait été repoussée soi-disant du fait de la difficulté de mener deux opérations majeures d’expulsion en même temps. Une stratégie similaire à celle de Calais a cependant été prévue pour la ZAD. Autour de la jungle, une zone spéciale a été annoncée interdisant l’accès à toutes les personnes non autorisées, transformant le camp en une cour de récréation pour la police où ils soient libres de tester leurs nouveaux outils répressifs afin d’accélerer les réponses de l’Etat aux “infractions” à l’ordre public.

Centre de tri

Location Joly
353 CD 940 Bleriot Plage 62231
Joly a loué le hangar proche de la jungle qui a été converti en centre de tri pour emmener les gens dans des bus à travers la France. L’entreprise fournit généralement de l’équipement tel que des bulldozers ou des matériaux de construction dans la région (nous ne savons pas si certains de leurs équipements ont été utilisés dans l’expulsion).

Transport pour les CAO

Les compagnies de bus locales qui ont organisé des départs de la jungle pour des centres à travers la France ont aussi profité de cette expulsion, ce qui aura valu les cyniques louanges du journal La Voix du Nord quant à cette expulsion pour ses contributions à l’économie locale. Les entreprises ci-dessous ont été réquisitionnées par la préfecture pour fournir des bus à l’expulsion, financées par l’OFFI. (Voir ici, ici, ici et ici)

Littoral Nord Autocar
251 Avenue Henri Ravisse
Z.A.C. TRANSMARCK
62730 MARCK
Tel.: 03.21.46.39.39

Voyages Moleux
ZI de l’inquieterie
24 rue de la Capelle
62 280 Saint Martin Boulogne
Tel. : 03 21 10 34 34

Autocars PORTAL
ZI. des Dunes Chemin du Pont Trouille 62100 Calais
Tel.: 03 21 35 13 79
06 09 62 51 45
Fax: 03 21 82 32 70
E-mail: autocars.portal@wanadoo.fr

Voyages Inglard
Route Départementale 943, 62921 Aire-sur-la-Lys, France
Tel.: 0321954430
E-mail: inglard-airesurlalys@selectourafat.com

Made Tourism
Route de Bourbourg
62162 Vieille-Église

Voyages Cattteau
BP 357 – 59463 Lomme cedex / Locaux : Avenue des Marronniers – 59840 Pérenchies
Tel.: 03 20 92 45 11 – Fax 03 20 22 01 45
Email: contact@voyages-catteau.com
Nous avons aussi repéré des bus des compagnies suivantes :

Delgrange voyage
22 Boulevard Sainte-Barbe, 59122 Dunkerque, France

Mariot Voyages
2, rue de la Paix, 59480, La Bassee, France

Voyages Mullie
Address: 246 Rue de Condé, 62160 Grenay, France
Tel.: +33 3 21 29 02 36

Dumont

L’Oiseau Bleu

Raids, raids and raids

As we had already said, the policy of the french State in Calais now is one of true appartheid. It is impossible to walk down the street and not be witness of racial profiling episodes, arrests, or at least to notice the massive police presence.

We know that the police keeps on arresting people, at least at the train stations of Calais, Hazebrouck and Lille, that most of our non-white friends who live in Calais are controlled several times a day, whether with or without the good papers, and that from Calais people are brought to several deport centers around France.

Here is a brief overview of the arrests we witnessed last week, when we were monitoring different places in Calais. Part of the information reported has been collected by people who run a number for legal support; another part comes from people we know. It is sure the list is incomplete: more people have been arrested, and we didn’t hear about it.

Arrests on the 3rd of November

-15 people arrested around the central train station

-1 minor arrested near Coquelles

Arrests on the 30th of October

-1 person registered as underage arrested in the central train station, then released

Arrests on the 29th of October

-1 person from Kuwait arrested in the city

-8 people arrested in town around 4.30pm

-1 Afghan minor person arrested in Fontinettes train station around 6.30pm

Arrests on the 28th of October

-3 Afghan people who were supposed to go to a CAO arrested in town, at night, two of them might be deported to Italy on October 31st

Arrests on the 27th of October

-2 activists arrested and put in custody in L‘Ecole des Dunes in the Jungle because they didn’t have authorization, around 10am (they are now released without charges)

-a group of minors taken by the police around 11am in the jungle

-3 people violently arrested and put in custody during a press conference around 11.30am (they are now released without charges)

-3 people arrested in town around 4pm

-1 person arrested in front of the central train station around 5.30pm

-7 people arrested in Frethun train station around 6pm

-2 Afghan people arrested in town, near the Jungle around 7.30pm

-3 young Eritrean and Oromo people arrested near the central train station around 8.30pm

-a group of young people chased by 15 cops in full gear in front of the town hall and 2 of them arrested around 9pm

-3 Sudanese people with bracelets for underage/minors arrested while on bikes in Rue Mollien (between the town and jungle)

-1 person arrested in the train station

-1 person arrested near the jungle

-1 person arrested

-1 Eritrean minor person arrested

-1 person arrested in the central train station

-2 persons arrested in the central train station

Arrests on the 26th of October

-6 or 7 people controlled by the police and at least one of them arrested

-1 young person arrested by the PAF in the Frethun train station

Arrests on the 25th of October

-4 people arrested under the bridge in the jungle, including 3 Afghan people who stayed in deport center

-7 persons arrested in the Frethun train station (more than 30 people put in deport center)

Arrests on the 24th of October

-more than 10 people controlled and taken by the police in the central train station, including 4 still in deport center

Updates from the eviction

Some updates from evictons-

1. There are rumours that everyone will start to be moved from the site tomorrow, that means those in Salam (the Jules Ferry Center), the container and all over the site. They are moving people from other CAO’s to make space for the minors and those still in the in camp.

2. On the 27th of October many people were arrested two or even more times in one day. After they were released, they came back to the city and some were arrested again.

3. People of colour with papers, or those already asking asylum in France have also been checked by the police sometimes up to 10 times a day.

4. People being checked have been surrounded by many cops and cars. For example they used two big police cars for 1 guy. Another example is that they used 15 policemen to arrest 2 minors.

5. Two guys wanted to take the bus and ask for asylum in France but they were caught by the police one day before the first bus. They were released 4 days after the last bus, they said they wanted to claim asylum in France and to take the bus, but because the police kept them they lost the last chance to go to a CAO and they lost their belongings.

6. On the 29th of October, in the night, one 15 year old boy was pushed to the ground and punched by a security guard inside the container camp – they destroyed his wristband, he was a minor. There have been reports of more cases like this.

Soutenir les personnes en Centre de Rétention // Supporting people in Detention

Pour tou-tes cell-eux qui ont des proches en centre de rétention ou qui voudraient soutenir les peronnes victimes de l’enfermement raciste des personnes qui n’ont pas les “bons” papiers, voilà un guide succinct de soutien aux personnes en rétention en france.

soutenir-les-personnes-en-centre-de-retention

///////////For everyone who has close ones in deport centers or who would like to support the people who are victims of the racist incarceration of those who don’t have the “good” papers, here is a short guide to supporting people in detention in France.

supporting-people-in-detention

prison

Contre les rafles // Against racist raids

L’expulsion “humanitaire” est terminée. Il est maintenant l’heure des rafles systématiques. Tou-tes cell-eux mis-es de côté par la première partie du dispositif de l’État en sont maintenant à la deuxième étape, à la merci des hordes de policiers qui remplissent les rues calaisiennes.

Entre cell-eux qui n’ont pas pu accéder aux bus, les mineur-es que les services “sociaux” n’auront pas jugé comme tel-les, cell-eux qui veulent rester à Calais, etc… ils sont décidément nombreu-ses à avoir été oublié-es par les “diagnostics sociaux” des institutions (les associations humanitaires incluses). Les contrôles et arrestations au faciès se font à tous les coins de rue, les personnes sont emmenées directment dans des centres de rétention, parfois à l’autre bout de la france. C’est là qu’ils font face aux dangers des déportations dans des pays où ils risquent à coup sûr l’enfermement ou la mort.

C’est pour ces raisons que nous vous appelons à porter votre vigilance sur les centres de rétention et les CAO. Le harcèlement et la ségregation de cell-eux qui ne sont coupables que de leur couleur de peau ou de la validité de leurs papiers doivent faire face à notre colère. Ne laissons par leur fascisme envahir nos vies ! Guerre à leurs CRA, OQTF, rafles et à leur déportations !

Envoyez vos infos sur les centres de rétention et les déportations, vos rendez-vous et vos récits d’actions à calais_solidarity@riseup.net.

[EN]

The “humanitarian” evictions have finished. Now comes the time of systematic raids. All those left behind by the first phase of the government plan are now at the next phase: at the mercy of hordes of police who fill the streets of Calais.

Those who couldn’t access the buses, the minors whom the social services didn’t judge to be minors, and those who want to stay in Calais – there are many who have been forgotten and neglected by the “social diagnostics” carried out by the institutions (including humanitarian associations).

The controls and the arrests, based on racial profiling, are happening everywhere in the city. People are brought directly to deport centers, sometimes in other corners of France. It’s there that they frequently face the danger of deportation to countriers where they risk certain imprisonment or death.

It’s for this reason that we call on you to watch the deport centers and CAO (housing centers). Let’s get angry about the harassement and segregation of those who are guilty only of not being white or having “good” papers. Don’t let fascism ruin the lives of us all! Fight against their deport centers, their raids, and deportations!

Send info about deport centers and detentions, call-outs, and actions to calais_solidarity@riseup.net – for us to know and/or forward.

Updates on eviction in Calais

nintchdbpict000277682310Live updates: Information about police repression and racist controls around the eviction in Calais

Fil d’actualité: Information sur les répressions policière et les contrôles racistes autour des expulsion du Bidonville a Calais

Vidéos et photos sur le Facebook Polyvalence sur https://www.facebook.com/assopolyvalence/?fref=ts

———————————————————————–

Updates from tuesday 25th october

Here some short updates on what has been going on yesterday. A longer statement will follow. ENG

Since yesterday the destruction of the jungles by workers from Sogea (Vinci) has started.

Pictures of people leaving the jungle « volontarily » go around the world to sell the destruction as a huge humanitarian spectacle.

But many people did not go to the busses and are not planning to do so, but it is getting harder for them to leave the jungle and Calais, since the police controls the exits of the jungle, the train stations and the city. Big groups of people have been arrested yesterday and brought to detention centers. Of most of them we have no more information/ contact, we do not know what is happening to them.

A member of a local association claimed openly that the promise that was made by the government, saying that people who have fingerprints in other countries will not be deported according to the Dublin agreement, was a lie and won’t be respected ( according to a leak from the government.).

There was a demonstration of women inside the camp, asking to be brought safely to the UK.

Apparently some busses had to turn around and come back to Calais since fachists put fire on the orientation centers (CAOs) to where they were supposed to bring people.

Big fire: There were loads of houses and structures in the jungles were set on fire yesterday during the day and especially by night. It is unclear by who. Some persons preferred to destroy their houses with their own hands, instead of letting the workers touch their homes. For the other we don’t know.

nintchdbpict000277678588Many children whose houses were burnt had to sleep outside in really bad conditions. One person got seriously hurt by the fire.

Nouvelles de mardi 25 octobre

Des nouvelles d’hier en bref, un article plus détaillé va suivre. FRANCAIS

Depuis hier la destruction de la jungle par des travailleurs de Sogea (filiale de Vinci) a commencé. A l’évidence, seules les images des personnes quittant la jungle volontairement sont publiées pour faire le tour du monde ; la destruction des maisons pouvant ainsi passer pour une grande opération humanitaire. Mais de nombreuses personnes ne sont pas montées dans les bus et ne veulent pas le faire. Il est de plus en plus difficile pour elles de quitter le camp et Calais, la police contrôle tous les accès de la jungle, les gare et la ville. De nombreux groupes d’exilé.e.s ont été arrétés ces derniers jours et envoyés en centre de rétention. Pour la plupart d’entre eux nous n’avons plus de nouvelles, nous ne savons pas ce qu’il advient d’eux.

Un membre d’une association locale prétend que, suite à une fuite venant du gouvernement, nous savons officiellement que la promesse du gouvernement, de ne pas expulser les personnes dublinées, est un mensonge et ne sera pas respectée.

Une demonstration des femmes a eu lieu hier à l’interièure de camp. Elles revendiquent un passage sûr pour aller en Angleterre.

Apparemment des bus ont dû faire demi tour et revenir dans la jungle, des groupes fascistes ayant mis le feu aux CAO où ils devaient déposer les personnes.

Grand incendie: Des nombreuses cabanes et structures ont brûlées hier et cette nuit dans la jungle. Nous ne savons pas qui est à l’origine de tous les incendies. Il est certain que certaines personnes ont mis le feu à leurs propres maisons pour ne pas les voir détruites par l’état. Pour les autres nous ne savons pas. Des enfants dont les cabanes ont été brûlé ont du dormir à l’exterieure dans des conditions terribles. Une personne à été sérieusement blessé par le feu.

Lundi/Monday

7:51 Afficher effectuer a l’entrer du bidonville: Présence interdites au nom de l’ état d’ urgence, six mois prison, 7500 euro d’ amande

7:51 Order at the entrance of the jungle under the state of emergency,. Unathorized presence 6 month prison and 7500 euro fine

9:30 Contrôles d’identité et fouilles à la gare des personnes présumé*e*s d’être migrant*e*s et dans le parc en face de la marie

9:30 ID controls at the train station and in the parc infront of the town hall of people who are presumed to be migrants

9:53 Contrôle badge et identité pour rentrer a la Jungle

9:53 Badge and identity controls for entering the Jungle

10:15 Contrôles au faciès des piétons aux long du canal, entre route des garennes et le petit pont qui sur le canal qui vas en direction du pont, pour empêcher des gens de quitter la jungle avec fouille systématique des sacs

10:15 Controls of the `facies` of the pedestrian way along the channel between the street des garennes and the little bridge.

10:59 Des fachos étais vue aux pond des gravelines et sur l’impasse, une vingtaine

10:59 Around 20 fascistes were seen at the `Graveline` bridge

11:56 Répression et contrôles sur la gare Calais Ville

11:56 Ongoing repression at the train station Calais Ville

12:15 Contrairement à ce qui était annoncé, les mineurs vont être envoyés partout en France, et l’évaluation de leur âge se fera hors cadre légal. Pour les plus âgés, 16 et 17 ans, il semble qu’ils soient rejetés des procédures pour mineurs.

12:15 Differently of what has been announced, the underadged will be send to different places in France and the evaluation of their age will not be done within the legal procedure. For the ones around 16 and 17 it looks like they will be refused to benefit from the procedures for the underaged.

12:22 Apparently there will be no more busses today. We have news from people that there have been leaving with 10 people inside the bus. The atmosphere in the jungle seems to be rather relaxed , not a lot of cops inside.

12:22 Apparemment il y auras plus de bus aujourd’hui. On a reçu des nouvelles des gens qu’il on quitter la ville avec seulement 10 personnes dans le Bus. L’ambiance dans la jungle semble plutôt calme, y’a pas trop de flics à l’intérieure .

13:00 some people who went inside the buses says that they had no choices for places to go.

13:00 Des témoignages de personnes qui sont allées dans les bus qui contredisent les déclarations officielles : on ne leur a pas toujours proposé deux destination comme annoncé.

general atmosphere in calais : since this morning, all the inhabitants of the jungle are blocked inside the area controled by the cops. they can’t pass the barages and go away or go ion town

ambiance générale à calais : depuis ce matin toutes les habitantes du bidonville sont bloquées dans le périmètre contrôlé par les keufs. Elle ne peuvent passer les barrages policier qui les empêchent de se rendre en ville.