Brussels’s Parc Maximilien, where over 300 tents are in place, will soon be overrun, warns the Civic Platform in support of refugees on Thursday. “The camp has got so big it’s more like a village. (…)We are on the verge of a human catastrophe.” The group is therefore asking Theo Francken, secretary of state for Asylum and Migration, to come and “see for himself, on site, how bad the situation is.”
Almost 325 tents have been put up. Hundreds of volunteers have been taking turns helping migrants arriving in Brussels for several weeks now, and teams of doctors, trnaslators and cooks have been recruited. The spontaneous surge in solidarity also led to a medical centre and even a mobile school being set up.
But the camp was originally meant to be a temporary solution and is now reaching full capacity with approximately 1,000 residents. “Very soon, we will not be able to welcome new arrivals, not so much because of lack of space as because of health and safety issues.”
The government’s suggestion of beds brought to the WTC-III tower is unpopular, as only 25 people slept there last night. “Overcrowding in the camp is already a problem. On top of that, the weather is set to turn nasty, bringing yet another set of problems,” which is why the organisers are inviting Theo Francken to come and see for himself.
On Twitter, Theo Francken dismissed criticism of the insufficient number of beds available in the WTC-III building at the beginning of the week, and wondered whether refugees would rather stay in their “comfortable” tents rather than use the new shelter.