Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2009-02-03-Speech-2-326"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, Mr Vondra, ladies and gentlemen, our Parliament takes pride in its unceasing defence of the respect for human dignity in all circumstances, including, of course, the conditions in which illegal immigrants are held. I will concentrate on the case of the administrative detention centre in Mayotte, with whose problems I am very familiar. The differences in the standards of living and economic and social development between the islands of this Indian Ocean archipelago incite many Comorans to cross the 70 kilometres that separate them from Mayotte, which is a French department as you said Mr Barrot and, as an OCT, is not a European territory. People residing illegally on the island of Mayotte account for 30% of the population. Yes, you heard correctly, I said 30% of the population. This is a percentage which is unknown in our European countries, thank God. It obviously has a major impact on Mahorais society, and represents a source of serious difficulties for public infrastructures and services, crime and illegal working. The French authorities are well aware of these difficulties. Work to renovate the current detention centre has just been completed to improve the living conditions of detainees significantly. Besides these temporary measures, the French Government has also decided to build a new detention centre with a more suitable capacity and in accordance with national standards. This should be open in June 2011. Europe has just adopted common rules so that it can take its share of legal world immigration but we should not hide the fact that certain regions are faced with extreme situations. Stigmatising the Mayotte detention centre will not bring a quicker or more effective solution, as the pressure of migration is subjecting the island to such a tension. As Mayotte is on the verge of taking historic decisions for its future, in order to become a French overseas department and then join the territory of the Community by gaining the status of an outermost region of the Union, I believe that the Mahorais have greater need of our assistance than our criticisms."@en1

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