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France – Italy : Moroccan travelers and carriers stranded in ports

A number of Moroccan travelers and carriers have been stranded in French and Italian ports due to border closure. They sleep in their trucks and cars with little resources.

DR
Estimated read time: 2'

Since the French government announced the closure of borders with countries outside of the European Union on January 31, Moroccan traders, but also travelers, have found themselves stranded in Sète. 

While all ferries were canceled, several passengers have been sleeping in their trucks since the beginning of February. Contacted by Yabiladi, one of the travelers said that «several people are forced to sleep on the street, amid very low temperatures».

According to Moroccan, «the situation is the same in the port of Marseille and Genoa, where travelers have seen all ferries canceled». In the Italian port, GNV explains that this time it is about a «temporary suspension of maritime link services ordered by the Moroccan authorities», which should last until February 20.

Faced with this situation, travelers were caught off guard. Some still hope that the situation will be unblocked. Others are ready to cross borders in order to go through other ports. Three truckers have in particular considered returning by land to Spain, to then continue by boat, although the additional cost of the trip is very heavy while many travelers have limited resources at hand.

Extreme precariousness of stranded Moroccans

In France the conditions of the travelers' stays «are extremely precarious», according to France Bleu. «Without any proposal for temporary accommodation, neither by the shipping company, nor by the authorities, [the drivers] have to figure out what to eat and find a place to sleep». 

In the parking lot of Mas Coulet in Sète, Francetvinfo reports that «about twenty vans have been parked there for the past 15 days». The travelers were supposed to stay in France for three days. But with the border closure which has lasted for a fortnight, all their resources have been exhausted and local associative actors have decided to come to their aid.

«When we discovered them, they already had no more resources. So, we called for donations so that they could eat, cook and keep warm as well. Because they live and sleep in their vehicles», tells the French media Cathy Ciancilla. Janine Léger, from Cimade, also underlines the importance of «calling on port assistance, at least so that they can have access to toilets!»

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