“It’s distressing”: In Vannes, associations are helpless in the face of the expulsion of 80 people

“It’s distressing”: In Vannes, associations are helpless in the face of the expulsion of 80 people
“It’s distressing”: In Vannes, associations are helpless in the face of the expulsion of 80 people

Eighty people are being evicted from their emergency accommodation throughout Morbihan following a decision by the prefecture. In a press release, the authorities cited the need “to free up places so that the State can continue to accommodate in emergency accommodation facilities the many people in precarious situations who are requesting temporary shelter from the Integrated Reception and Orientation Service (SIAO). The profiles of those concerned vary: children, parents, asylum seekers in an irregular situation or under obligation to leave French territory (OQTF), or families in a fully regular situation. All received a letter from the SIAO following “an in-depth analysis” of their situation, “which no longer justified their continued presence in emergency hotel capacity”, the prefecture indicated.

“Not the first time”

The Morbihan prefecture specifies that it carried out its expulsions after the end of the winter break and after the end of the school year, “so as not to penalize school children”. A decision that is nevertheless hard to accept for Philippe Lorho, head of the Restos du Cœur in Vannes. “These are people who come to us regularly, we know most of them well. We don’t come to the Restos du Cœur for fun, they are in distress. It’s sad to see this”. A vision shared by Agnès Bornais, a volunteer for the association. “We are shocked, some of them help us here. They are courageous in their volunteer work, pleasant and willing”. The Morbihan prefecture had carried out a similar wave of expulsions last summer, already calling for relief from the reception facilities for vulnerable people, which had reached saturation point. For Philippe Lorho, this decision has a bitter taste of déjà vu. “One of our volunteers was forced to leave Vannes following a similar sentence last January. This is not the first time this has happened.”

Unconditional welcome

The expulsions began on Monday and will continue for several days in a diplomatic manner, without the intervention of law enforcement. The authorities indicate that migrants and refugees can request assistance with voluntary return. “We remain available as much as possible, as needed. Our mission is to help people in distress, without regard to their social status, religion or nationality,” explains François Cardron, president of the Vannes Red Cross. The same picture is true at the Restos du Cœur, which sees its list of beneficiaries grow longer every day. “In addition to the departures, there are also many arrivals,” explains Philippe Lorho. “In any case, we are here to welcome them if they need it,” he assures.

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