The federal home affairs ministry is failing in its promise to bring extra help to Zeebrugge for the treatment of trans-migrants, according to a Bruges city council member. Trans-migrants are migrants who are only passing through, in this case from their homeland to the United Kingdom. Since the closure of the so-called “jungle” at Calais, the problem has largely moved to Zeebrugge, where trans-migrants secrete themselves aboard lorries making the crossing – sometimes with but usually without the knowledge of the driver.
According to Franky Demon, a Bruges city councilman and member of the federal parliament, interior minister Jan Jambon has failed to live up to his promise of more federal funding to tackle the problem.
Jambon’s office, in turn, argued that the city had received additional funding in July, with more to come in August.
Demon is more concretely asking for a reinforced police presence. The city of Bruges itself has no spare manpower during the height of the tourist season, and is asking for reinforcements from other parts of the country.
“But up until now, nobody has shown up as the procedure requires,” Demon said. “If aid is to come from federal police, it has to be announced to the local chief of police. We will be following the situation and questioning the minister, but what we want more than anything is to see some action on the ground. The minister has to keep his promises.”