Little Christmas cheer on Europe's borders

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By Robert Hackwill
Little Christmas cheer on Europe's borders

No seasonal cheer for the refugees and migrants from Africa who continue to be washed up on Europe’s shores, despite the bad weather and warnings Europe is full, unless you come from a war zone.

Italian coastguards rescued another 300 men and 59 women on Christmas Day, mostly from Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Senegal. Most are likely to be refused entry to the EU.

In Calais Christian refugees have been holding makeshift religious services, but conditions in “the jungle” shanty town are awful and getting worse.

Its population is now estimated at around 4,500, and social services are at full stretch to ensure even basic sanitation does not collapse.

Several hundred migrants tried to storm the Channel tunnel on Friday afternoon. Since June at least 18 have died on the tracks or in the tunnel trying to get to Britain.

And in the Spanish enclave of Cueta in Morocco the security fence has been breached with at least 180 migrants making it onto Spanish soil. At least two people died when another 200 people tried to swim into the enclave around the barrier.