French-Belgian border should ‘reopen urgently,’ say French MPs
Saturday, 23 May 2020
Several French MPs called on Friday for the government to “urgently reopen” the border between France and Belgium.
The leader of the French Grand Est region in France, as well as several deputies, senators and local elected representatives from the French Ardennes, pointed to the “economic difficulties” of a territory that is partly “landlocked.”
The north of the Region, and especially “the tip of the Ardennes totally enclosed in Belgium,” which already had some difficulties before the coronavirus pandemic started, are particularly weakened by this crisis and the closure of the border, Pierre Cordier, the deputy of the party of The Republicans, wrote in a letter co-signed with four members of parliament, the presidents of the region and department, as well as several local elected officials.
“The loss of revenue recorded in food stores is considerable, and many jobs are threatened (…) because nearly 70% of customers are Belgians in border shops,” the letter read.
At a time of deconfinement in both France and Belgium, “the resumption of the tourist season is crucial for our department,” they said, proposing to “allow tourists from neighbouring countries to come, why not by applying the 100 km rule without taking the border into account.”